REFERRING to the letter “Points of release not an issue at all” (The Star, March 23), the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) would like to respond to the issues raised.
Aedes aegypti is medically important as the primary vector of arboviruses such as Chikungunya, Zika, Yellow Fever and in particular dengue. Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquitoes are increasingly being used to control dengue. Several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Columbia and Vietnam, have already released Aedes infected with different strains of Wolbachia using the wMel strain. Thailand and China are using the wMel-Pop strain. The wMel-Pop strain is a good dengue blocker but it was found to cause high mortality among adult Aedes mosquitoes.