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Rear and release: How Wolbachia can be used to control “tiger” Aedes and the viruses they carry

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Webinar Archive
Scott Ritchie
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1 Hour Session
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Historically, control of the tiger Aedes mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti (the vector of dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses), has been largely ineffective. Subsequently, two novel “rear and release” control strategies utilising mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia are currently being developed and deployed widely. In the incompatible insect technique, male Aedes infected with Wolbachia suppress populations through unproductive mating. In the transinfection strategy, both male and female Wolbachia infected Ae. aegypti rapidly infect the wild population with Wolbachia that block virus transmission. I will discuss how these game changing programs are rolled out, and the relative merits of each.


  1. Tiger Aedes: their risk and control
  2. The Wolbachia “rear and release” paradigm
    1. How Wolbachia works to KO mozzies and viruses
    2. Different Wolbachia strategies
  3. Virus blocking (population replacement)
  4. Population suppression (SIT by another name)
  5. Relative merits of the 2 approaches

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Scott Ritchie Related Seminars and Products

Professor Ritchie leads a diverse group of health practitioners and research scientists whose collective goal is to prevent vector-borne disease, especially dengue, in north Queensland.  From 1994 – 2011 he was employed as Director, Medical Entomology at the Tropical Regional Services (formerly Tropical Public Health Unit), the preventative health arm of Queensland Health in North Queensland Australia.  There he helped develop the world recognised Dengue Fever Management Plan for north Queensland.  He is currently employed as a National Health & Medical Research Council Professorial Research Fellow at the James Cook University’s College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine in Cairns Australia.  Prof. Ritchie’s research has centred upon control of vector-borne diseases, especially dengue. He has been a involved in two large projects utilising the bacterium Wolbachia to prevent the dengue vector Aedes aegypti from transmitting dengue viruses. He is also researching new pesticides for the control of Ae. aegypti and the development of novel passive mosquito traps for the detection of pathogens in mosquitoes and other disease vectors.