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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 May;75(10):3373-6. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00207-09. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

The virulent Wolbachia strain wMelPop efficiently establishes somatic infections in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.

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  • 1The W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Wolbachia pipientis bacteria are maternally inherited endosymbionts that are of interest to control the Anopheles mosquito vectors of malaria. Wolbachia does not infect Anopheles mosquitoes in nature, although cultured Anopheles cells can be infected. Here, we show that the virulent Wolbachia strain wMelPop can survive and replicate when injected into female Anopheles gambiae adults, but the somatic infections established are avirulent. These in vivo data suggest that stable Wolbachia infections of Anopheles may be possible.

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