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Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 6;5:3985. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4985.

Evidence of natural Wolbachia infections in field populations of Anopheles gambiae.

Author information

1
1] University of Perugia, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Scienze Biochimiche, 05100 Terni, Italy [2] Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [3] [4].
2
1] University of Trento, Centre for Integrative Biology, 38123 Trento, Italy [2].
3
1] UPR9022 CNRS, U963 Inserm, University de Strasbourg, 15 rue R. Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg, France [2].
4
Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
5
Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
6
Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé/Centre Muraz, O1 BP 390 Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso.
7
Vector Biology Unit, Max-Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Chariteplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
8
1] University of Perugia, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Scienze Biochimiche, 05100 Terni, Italy [2] Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Wolbachia are maternally transmitted intracellular bacteria that invade insect populations by manipulating their reproduction and immunity and thus limiting the spread of numerous human pathogens. Experimental Wolbachia infections can reduce Plasmodium numbers in Anopheles mosquitoes in the laboratory, however, natural Wolbachia infections in field anophelines have never been reported. Here we show evidence of Wolbachia infections in Anopheles gambiae in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene identified Wolbachia sequences in both female and male germlines across two seasons, and determined that these sequences are vertically transmitted from mother to offspring. Whole-genome sequencing of positive samples suggests that the genetic material identified in An. gambiae belongs to a novel Wolbachia strain, related to but distinct from strains infecting other arthropods. The evidence of Wolbachia infections in natural Anopheles populations promotes further investigations on the possible use of natural Wolbachia-Anopheles associations to limit malaria transmission.

PMID:
24905191
PMCID:
PMC4059924
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4985
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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