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The World Mosquito Program’s Wolbachia method is protecting communities around the world from mosquito-borne diseases.

Our evidence

We have growing evidence for the effectiveness and safety of our Wolbachia method and have set up projects in 12 countries.

We have released Wolbachia mosquitoes to reach more than 10 million people (as of June 2022). In areas where Wolbachia is self-sustaining at a high level, notified dengue and chikungunya incidence has been significantly reduced

Results from our project sites show dengue incidence is significantly lower in Wolbachia-treated communities compared with untreated neighboring populations. Our most recent gold-standard trial in Yogyakarta showed a 77% reduction in dengue incidence and an 86% reduction in dengue hospitalisations in Wolbachia treated areas compared with untreated areas. 

Safe and self-sustaining

Wolbachia is safe and its virus-blocking properties persist in mosquito populations many years after release.

Public health evidence

Significant reduction in dengue and chikungunya incidence in communities where Wolbachia has been applied.

 

Deployable at large scale

Real-world evidence shows feasibility and effectiveness in cities with >1 million people in Colombia, Brazil and Indonesia.

 

Economic benefits forecast

The Wolbachia method is predicted to be cost-saving in urban communities.

 

Efficacy trial

A gold-standard randomised controlled trial in Yogyakarta, Indonesia showed a 77% reduction in dengue and 86% reduction in dengue hospitalisations in Wolbachia-treated areas.

Mathematical modelling

Independent experts predict that Wolbachia will eliminate dengue transmissions for decades.

Since the World Mosquito Program's Wolbachia method was established in Cairns' mosquito population, we've seen an end to debilitating outbreaks of dengue. The World Mosquito Program’s technology has revolutionised health security in northern Queensland, bringing peace of mind to thousands of people.
Dr Richard Gair
Director and Public Health Physician, Tropical Public Health Services Cairns, Australia
Dr Richard Gair

Our global evidence portfolio

Results from our global project sites demonstrate consistently that dengue incidence is reduced in communities where Wolbachia has been deployed. This map highlights the health and economic impacts of Wolbachia releases in the project sites where we have finished mosquito releases.

Global Progress Map
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Australia

    Dengue has been effectively eliminated as a public health concern in Far North Queensland.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Brazil

    The incidence of dengue and chikungunya is significantly lower in Wolbachia-treated neighbourhoods of Rio and Niteroi than in untreated neighbourhoods.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Colombia

    Dengue incidence in the Aburra Valley is 94 - 98% lower in the period since Wolbachia has been established. In a case control study in Medellin in 2019-2021, dengue incidence was reduced by half among participants resident in Wolbachia-treated neighbourhoods.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Indonesia

    In a cluster randomised trial, dengue incidence was 77% lower and dengue hospitalisations 86% lower in Wolbachia-treated communities.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    New Caledonia

    Following regular dengue outbreaks each year 2016-2019, there have been no dengue outbreaks in Nouméa since Wolbachia deployments commenced.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Vietnam

    An economic analysis predicts Wolbachia will be highly cost-effective in high dengue burden cities, and return on average $1.69 for every $1 invested.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Western Pacific

    Wolbachia has been successfully established, with early signals of public health benefit. An economic analysis predicts Wolbachia will be cost-saving in Suva over 10 years, returning $1.67 for every $1 invested.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Australia

    Dengue has been effectively eliminated as a public health concern in Far North Queensland.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Brazil

    The incidence of dengue and chikungunya is significantly lower in Wolbachia-treated neighbourhoods of Rio and Niteroi than in untreated neighbourhoods.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Colombia

    Dengue incidence in the Aburra Valley is 94 - 98% lower in the period since Wolbachia has been established. In a case control study in Medellin in 2019-2021, dengue incidence was reduced by half among participants resident in Wolbachia-treated neighbourhoods.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Indonesia

    In a cluster randomised trial, dengue incidence was 77% lower and dengue hospitalisations 86% lower in Wolbachia-treated communities.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    New Caledonia

    Following regular dengue outbreaks each year 2016-2019, there have been no dengue outbreaks in Nouméa since Wolbachia deployments commenced.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Vietnam

    An economic analysis predicts Wolbachia will be highly cost-effective in high dengue burden cities, and return on average $1.69 for every $1 invested.

    View our progress
  •  
    Global evidence portfolio

    Western Pacific

    Wolbachia has been successfully established, with early signals of public health benefit. An economic analysis predicts Wolbachia will be cost-saving in Suva over 10 years, returning $1.67 for every $1 invested.

    View our progress
  • Australia
    People reached 330,000
    Release sites North Queensland
    Established 2009
  • Brazil
    People reached 2,480,000
    Release sites Rio de Janeiro, Niteroi, Campo Grande, Petrolina
    Established 2012
  • Colombia
    People reached 4,020,000
    Project sites Medellín, Bello, Itagüí and Cali
    Established 2016
  • Indonesia
    People reached 1,820,000
    Project sites Yogyakarta, Sleman and Bantul
    Established 2011
  • New Caledonia
    People reached 140,000
    Project sites Greater Noumea
    Established 2018
  • Vietnam
    People reached 280,000
    Project sites Vinh Luong, My Tho and Thu Dau Mot
    Established 2016
  • Western Pacific
    Population reached 430,000
    Project sites Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati
    Established 2017
We never thought that there could come a time when someone would research on a mosquito that was safe…
Premila Chandra
Nadi Chief Health Inspector
Premila Chandra - Fiji
The Wolbachia method is a great public health scientific achievement to address major challenges in global health, including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We’re proud to be collaborating with the World Mosquito Program to deliver this environmentally friendly, accessible and sustainable solution.
Dr Paulo Gadelha
Former President of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) Brazil and UN 10-Member Group to support Technology Facilitation Mechanism

 

United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, to create a better world by 2030.

Our work supports many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), primarily SDG #3: Good health and well-being, in particular Target 3.3: Fight communicable diseases. This target calls for the end to epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and to combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases. Dengue, Zika and chikungunya are classified as neglected tropical diseases. 

Our work also supports

SDG #1: No poverty

Costly medical treatment for mosquito-borne diseases cause financial hardship for individuals and households, and time spent recuperating restricts their ability to earn a living or pursue education. Our work towards reducing these diseases will help to decrease poverty and increase economic prosperity.

SDG #11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The majority of our work is undertaken in high-density urban environments where Aedes aegypti thrive and where viruses can be easily transferred from one person to the next. Our approach is very cost effective and indeed is predicted to be cost-saving in most populous city locations where these diseases are currently entrenched and create sustained economic burden. 

Read about how urbanization affects the spread of dengue fever.

SDG #17: Partnerships for the Goals

The global effort to control and eliminate mosquito-borne diseases is one of the largest public health initiatives ever undertaken. Our work towards mobilising financial resources from partners and funders, and working in partnership with government, non-government organisations and local communities, is helping to reduce mosquito-borne diseases.

SriLanka woman
 

Supporting women
and girls

Women and girls are particularly affected by mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika. 

Our research shows that girls with dengue are at higher risk of severe symptoms and death than boys. 

Women who are infected by Zika virus during pregnancy can bear children with serious health conditions, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause life-long disability.

The World Mosquito Program’s innovative method to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is, therefore, supporting women and girls to live healthier lives and prevent the risks associated with mosquito-borne diseases.

Find out how mosquito-borne diseases impact women differently.