Limits to modeling the (thermal) limits of Wolbachia

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Perran A Ross , Ary A Hoffmann


Wolbachia release programs with the wMel strain are suppressing the incidence of dengue following releases in many countries. Vasquez et al use models to predict the impact of increasing temperatures and heatwaves on the replacement of wild mosquito populations with wMel carriers that are poor dengue vectors. They claim that wMel replacement is resilient to pre-2060 climate change including anomalies, although sustained heatwaves may still threaten release programs. Here, we suggest that their assumptions which are extrapolated from laboratory experiments may be unrealistic and overly simplistic because they only focus on temperature. Furthermore, there are already environmental constraints on Wolbachia release programs under existing climates. We urge caution when making predictions about the likely success of specific dengue control programs and emphasize that models must consider the full extent of environmental effects on Wolbachia and its mosquito host, with experiments and modeling parameters directly linked to current and future microenvironmental conditions.



Life Sciences


Wolbachia, climate change, Aedes aegypti


Published: 2023-09-12 07:06


CC-BY Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

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