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Complex wolbachia infection dynamics in mosquitoes with imperfect maternal transmission

Bo Zheng Wenliang Guo Linchao Hu Mugen Huang Jianshe Yu

*Corresponding author: Jianshe Yu jsyu@gzhu.edu.cn


Dengue, malaria, and Zika are dangerous diseases primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Anopheles stephensi. In the last few years, a new disease control method, besides pesticide spraying to kill mosquitoes, has been developed by releasing mosquitoes carrying bacterium Wolbachia into the natural areas to infect the wild population of mosquitoes and block disease transmission. The bacterium is transmitted by infected mothers and the maternal transmission was assumed to be perfect in virtually all previous models. However, recent experiments on Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi showed that the transmission can be imperfect. In this work, we develop a model to describe how the imperfect maternal transmission affects the dynamics of Wolbachia spread. We establish two useful identities and employ them to find sufficient and necessary conditions under which the system exhibits monomorphic, bistable, and polymorphic dynamics. These analytical results may help find a plausible explanation for the recent observation that the Wolbachia strain wMelPop failed to establish in the natural populations in Australia and Vietnam.

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