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Thomas Walker

Dr Thomas Walker

Dr Thomas Walker

Research Fellow

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Wolbachia transinfection of Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes to impact transmission of Japanese encephalitis virus .

Scheme: Sir Henry Dale Fellowship

Organisation: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dates: Feb 2014-Feb 2019

Value: £744,022

Summary: Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is transmitted by the infectious bite of mosquitoes. Three billion people live in countries where JEV is endemic and cheap, effective vaccines are not available. A more promising alternative to reducing transmission of the disease is to control the mosquito vector Culex tritaeniorhynchus. In recent years significant advancements have been made in the potential use of a common bacteria found in insects for mosquito biocontrol. This Wolbachia bacteria has been transferred into other mosquito species, such as the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti, and prevents the dengue virus from replicating within the mosquito. Wolbachia bacteria also manipulate insect reproduction so that they can spread throughout population. A strain of Wolbachia has successfully invaded Aedes aegypti mosquito populations in Australia. This research proposal aims to determine if a similar approach can be used to reduce JEV transmission. Firstly, I will introduce Wolbachia bacteria into the mosquito Cul

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