A computer simulation model of Wolbachia invasion for disease vector population modification
Guevara Souza, Mauricio
Vallejo Clemente, Edgar E.
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Abstract Background Wolbachia invasion has been proved to be a promising alternative for controlling vector-borne diseases, particularly Dengue fever. Creating computer models that can provide insight into how vector population modification can be achieved under different conditions would be most valuable for assessing the efficacy of control strategies for this disease. Methods In this paper, we present a computer model that simulates the behavior of native mosquito populations after the introduction of mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria. We studied how different factors such as fecundity, fitness cost of infection, migration rates, number of populations, population size, and number of introduced infected mosquitoes affect the spread of the Wolbachia bacteria among native mosquito populations. Results Two main scenarios of the island model are presented in this paper, with infected mosquitoes introduced into the largest source population and peripheral populations. Overall, the results are promising; Wolbachia infection spreads among native populations and the computer model is capable of reproducing the results obtained by mathematical models and field experiments. Conclusions Computer models can be very useful for gaining insight into how Wolbachia invasion works and are a promising alternative for complementing experimental and mathematical approaches for vector-borne disease control.