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Diverse novel Wolbachia bacteria strains and genera-specific co-infections with Asaia bacteria in Culicine mosquitoes from ecologically diverse regions of Cameroon

Mercant Osuna, Aina, Gidley, Alexandra, Mayi, Marie Paul Audrey, Bamou, Roland, Dhokiya, Vishaal, Nkondjio, Christophe, Jeffries, Claire Louise and Walker, Thomas (2023) 'Diverse novel Wolbachia bacteria strains and genera-specific co-infections with Asaia bacteria in Culicine mosquitoes from ecologically diverse regions of Cameroon'. Wellcome Open Research, Vol 8, e267.

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The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia infects numerous species of insects and Wolbachia transinfection of Aedes mosquito species is now being used for biocontrol programs as Wolbachia strains can both inhibit arboviruses and invade wild mosquito populations. The discovery of novel, resident Wolbachia strains in mosquito species warrants further investigation as potential candidate strains for biocontrol strategies.

We obtained mosquito specimens from diverse Culicine mosquitoes from Cameroon including ecologically diverse locations in the Central and West Regions. Wolbachia prevalence rates were assessed in addition to the environmentally acquired bacterial species Asaia in major Culicine genera. PCR-based methods were also used with phylogenetic analysis to confirm identities of host mosquito species and Wolbachia strains were classified using multi-locus sequence typing (MLST).

Results: We report high Wolbachia prevalence rates for Culicine species, including in a large cohort of Aedes africanus collected from west Cameroon in which 100% of mono-specific pools were infected. Furthermore, co-infections with Asaia bacteria were observed across multiple genera, demonstrating that these two bacteria can co-exist in wild mosquito populations. Wolbachia strain MLST and phylogenetic analysis provided evidence for diverse Wolbachia strains in 13 different mosquito species across seven different genera. Full or partial MLST profiles were generated from resident Wolbachia strains in six Culex species (quinquefasciatus, watti, cinerus, nigripalpus, perexiguus and rima), two Aedes species (africanus and denderensis) and in Mansonia uniformis, Catageiomyia argenteopunctata, Lutzia tigripes, Eretmapodites chrysogaster and Uranotaenia bilineata.

Our study provides further evidence that Wolbachia is widespread within wild mosquito populations of diverse Culicine species and provides further candidate strains that could be investigated as future options for Wolbachia-based biocontrol to inhibit arbovirus transmission.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Bacteria > QW 150 Proteobacteria. Rickettsiaceae, Wolbachia
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2023 10:05
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 10:06


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