Eliminate Dengue

This program is field testing a new self-sustaining biocontrol technology to prevent transmission of dengue, zika and chikungunya viruses by vector mosquitoes.

Overview

This project completed in July 2017.

The Eliminate Dengue project (now known as the World Mosquito Program) is a continuation of research initiated under the FNIH’s Vector-based Control of Transmission: Discovery Research (VCTR) program, which is an extension of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. Dengue is a disabling and sometimes deadly viral infection that causes high fever, intense muscle pain and bleeding. It is carried by a specific type of mosquito, and poses a serious public health risk to more than 40 percent of the world’s population. The Eliminate Dengue project aims to develop a self-sustaining biocontrol method to stop transmission of dengue virus by mosquitoes. The research uses a common bacterium, Wolbachia, to inhibit replication of the dengue virus in mosquitoes thus interrupting the transmission of dengue virus to humans. The Eliminate Dengue program responds to a global need for innovative approaches to prevent dengue transmission that are safe, easily deployed, effective and sustainable, to improve the health and well-being of the 2.5 billion people at risk of this infection.

Read about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Neglected Infectious Diseases Strategy here.

Partners

Private-Sector Partners:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation*

Academic Partners:

  • Monash University

*Provided financial or in-kind support for this program.

 

FNIH Contact

  • Stephanie James, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Science, sjames@fnih.org

Goals

  • Develop strategy for scale-up delivery of wMel-infected mosquitoes under different ecological conditions.
  • Collect data on viral inhibition from established field sites to understand the longevity of the effect and any potential for resistance.
  • Plan efficacy trials to test for reduction in dengue infection under different transmission conditions.

Results & Accomplishments

In early 2016, the team discovered that the presence of Wolbachia bacteria in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes also inhibits replication of the Zika virus, in addition to dengue and chikungunya viruses. Since then, the World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency session of the Vector Control Advisory Committee on developing a response to the Zika epidemic. At the session, WHO recommended that the Eliminate Dengue program proceed with pilot deployment of its Wolbachia strategy to build capacity to support operational use.

The project team is conducting pilot deployment activities at multiple sites.

Scientific Publications:

Media