Section: Application Domains

Modelling and control in epidemiology

The spread of certain strains of the intracellular parasitic bacterium Wolbachia in populations of mosquitoes Aedes aegypti drastically reduces their competence as vector of dengue and other severe mosquito-borne viral diseases known as arboviral infections (chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever...). In absence of vaccine, or of preventive or curative treatment, the release of mosquitoes infected by this bacterium has been recently considered a promising tool to control these diseases.

Technically the situation can be described by a bistable model, and the issue consists in moving from a Wolbachia-free equilibrium to a fully contaminated equilibrium. Therefore mathematical modeling is of great interest for the study of the feasibility of the control of dengue fever using this strategy.

Key questions about this method concern the efficacy of the strategies used to release Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in the field that can be applied successfully and with limited cost.