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Molecular detection and maternal transmission of a bacterial symbiont Asaia species in field-caught Anopheles mosquitoes from Cameroon

Maffo, Claudine Grâce Tatsinkou, Sandeu, Maurice Marcel, Fadel, Amen Nakebang, Tchouakui, Magellan, Nguete, Daniel Nguiffo, Menze, Benjamin, Kusimo, Michael O., Njiokou, Flobert, Hughes, Grant ORCID: and Wondji, Charles ORCID: (2021) 'Molecular detection and maternal transmission of a bacterial symbiont Asaia species in field-caught Anopheles mosquitoes from Cameroon'. Parasites & Vectors, Vol 14, p. 539.

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Malaria control relies mainlyon insecticide-based tools. However, the effectiveness of these tools is threatened by widespread insecticide resistance in malaria vectors, highlighting the need for alternative control approaches. The endosymbiont Asaia has emerged as a promising candidate for paratransgenic control of malaria, but its biology and genetics still need to be further analyzed across Africa. Here, we investigated the prevalence of Asaia and its maternal transmission in the natural population of Anopheles mosquitoes in Cameroon.

Indoor-resting adult mosquitoes belonging to four species (An. coluzzii, An. arabiensis, An. funestus and An. gambiae) were collected from eight localities across Cameroon from July 2016 to February 2020. PCR was performed on the Asaia-specific 16S ribosomal RNA gene, and samples positive by PCR for Asaia were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The vertical transmission of Asaia was investigated by screening F1 mosquitoes belonging to F0 Asaia-positive females.

A total of 895 mosquitoes were screened. We found 43% (384) Asaia infection prevalence in four mosquito species. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Asaia from Cameroon clustered together with the strains of Asaia isolated from other parts of the world. In addition, seven nucleotide sequence variants were found with low genetic diversity (π = 0.00241) and nucleotide sequence variant diversity (Hd = 0.481). Asaia was vertically transmitted with high frequency (range from 42.5 to 100%).

This study provides field-based evidence of the presence of Asaia in Anopheles mosquitoes in Cameroon for exploitation as a symbiont in the control of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > QX 4 General works
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 515 Anopheles
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Samantha Sheldrake
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2021 11:47
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2021 11:47


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