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The Role of Preferential Mating and Wolbachia Infection on the Aedes Aegypti Population Dynamics


Wolbachia, an endosymbiont bacteria, is common in various invertebrates and known for host reproductive manipulation strategies as well as for slowing the repli-cation of certain viruses. When infected by Wolbachia, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes become resistant to transmitting some mosquito-borne diseases (MBD) such as dengue or other diseases prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. Releasing a large num-ber of Wolbachia infected mosquitoes in the environment is assumed to be a more effective strategy than other various methods to control the spread of MBD. However, evaluation of such Wolbachia-based interventions over a long term temporal scale is limited in the literature. The Wolbachia’s host manipulation strategy, Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI), benefits the Wolbachia in the form of decreasing the number of non-infected mosquitoes, by casuing the cytoplasm of Wolbachia male mosquitoes to be incompatible with non-Wolbachia females, the eggs produced which would become non-infected mosquitoes are instead non-viable. Additionally, changes in mating pref-erence could impact the benefit from CI, as it requires that infected males mate with non-infected females. In this work we develop models that capture the life cycle and mating preference of mosquitoes with and without Wolbachia. Our research primarily focuses on the effects of preferential mating on the population dynamics of mosquitoes. The analysis of models suggest that Wolbachia persists and dominates in the mosquito population as long as a sufficiently large Wolbachia infected mosquito population is obtained i.e. there exists a critical population size[11]. This critical population size is a function of mating-related factors and stage progression rates. This study shows that increasing same infection status preferential mating increases the critical popula-tion size, with the non-infected same status preferences being more critical than the Wolbachia same status preference. Additionally, this study shows that the effect of preferential mating is diminished when a constant recruitment of Wolbachia infected adults is applied and increased and when the Wolbachia infected mosquito population proportion is increased.




Bernardo Ameneyro Rodriguez - University of Colima

Brian Chau - University of Central Florida

Daniel Maximiliano Ponce Chavez - Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico 

Ulises Jaime-Yepez - University of California, Davis

Zhen Wang - Shanghai University 

Fan Yu - Arizona State University 

Anarina Murillo - Arizona State University

Marisabel Rodriguez Messan - Arizona State University 

Carlos M. Hernandez - University of Colima

Karen Rios-Soto - University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Anuj Mubayi - Arizona State University 


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