Recent releases of mosquitoes infected with different Wolbachia types into Australia have led to conditions that have not been observed naturally and that have not been considered theoretically. In an ongoing public health campaign, two Wolbachia infection types have been introduced, and the infections differ in their fitness cost imposed on the host mosquito. The dynamics of each infection type as it interacts with the indigenous uninfected host population have been previously examined via models and empirical tests. Here we conduct a modeling analysis to predict the dynamics when the two infection types do not remain geographically isolated. The results demonstrate the potential replacement and loss of the more costly infection type, which may not be the desired public health outcome.
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Vol. 50 • No. 5