Wolbachia are bacteria that live within insect cells and are passed from one generation to the next through the insect’s eggs. Wolbachia is present in up to 60% of all the different species of insects. However Wolbachia is not naturally occurring in Aedes aegypti. Some academic groups have engineered Aedes aegypti strains to carry Wolbachia. The hypothesis is that Wolbachia infected Aedes aegypti are less able to transmit dengue than naturally occurring Aedes aegypti. To be effective the plan is that the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are released into the environment with the intention that, in time, they will replace the naturally present species. Trials are being carried out in a number of countries.
Oxitec does not work on Wolbachia infected mosquitoes.