Our method requires us to release Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes into communities where there is risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission. From there, they will breed with wild mosquitoes and Wolbachia will thrive and spread. But how do we get them out there? Well, depending on the environmental context, there are a number of different ways we can go about it.
Eggs of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are bred in labs then shipped to their new home where they are reared in ‘mozzie boxes’ and distributed around the community – either in approved public places or outside people’s homes. Staff and local community volunteers simply add water and the supplied egg and food capsule to the mozzie box. The eggs hatch and 1-2 weeks later the adult mosquitoes emerge from the box into the wild to do their thing.
At this point, using a transport app such as Grab or Uber to deliver eggs and mozzie boxes is at the concept stage. We’re considering all options and taking advantage of existing transportation systems to help with mosquito deployment could be a winning relationship some time in the future – most likely for the distribution of mozzie boxes for rearing eggs.