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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 26;10(3):e0121813. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121813. eCollection 2015.

Wolbachia density and cytoplasmic incompatibility in Aedes albopictus: concerns with using artificial Wolbachia infection as a vector suppression tool.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Sustainable Management of the Agro-Ecosystem, ENEA - Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Rome, Italy.
2
Laboratory of Sustainable Management of the Agro-Ecosystem, ENEA - Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Rome, Italy; Laboratory of Parasitology and Entomological Surveillance, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Lazio e Toscana, Rome, Italy.
3
Laboratory of Biotechnology, ENEA - Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Rome, Italy.
4
Medical and Veterinary Entomology, Agriculture and Environment Centre "G. Nicoli", Crevalcore, Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

The mosquito Aedes albopictusi is a competent vector of harmful human pathogens, including viruses causing dengue and chikungunya. Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) induced by endosymbiotic Wolbachia can be used to produce functionally sterile males that can be released in the field as a suppression tool against this mosquito. Because the available sexing methods are not efficient enough to avoid unintentional release of a few transinfected females, we assessed the CI pattern in crosses between wPip Wolbachia-transinfected (ARwP) females and wild-type males of Ae. albopictus in this study. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to monitor the titer of the Wolbachia strains that naturally infect Ae. albopictus, that is, wAlbA and wAlbB, in age-controlled males and females. Data were coupled with incompatibility level detected when the above-mentioned males were crossed with ARwP females. Wolbachia infection titer was also monitored in samples of wild caught males. Incompatibility level was positively correlated only with wAlbA density. Crosses between wild-type males having very low wAlbA density (<0.001 wAlbA/actin copy numbers) and ARwP females were partially fertile (CIcorr = 68.06 ± 6.20). Individuals with low wAlbA titer were frequently found among sampled wild males (30%-50% depending on the site and period). ARwP males can be as considered as a very promising tool for suppressing Ae. albopictus. However, crosses between wild males having low wAlbA density and ARwP females may be partially fertile. In the case of local establishment of the transinfected mosquito line, this occurrence may favor the replacement of the wild-type mosquitoes with the ARwP line, thus reducing the long-term efficacy of incompatible insect technique. Various alternative strategies have been discussed to prevent this risk and to exploit Wolbachia as a tool to control Ae. albopictus.

PMID:
25812130
PMCID:
PMC4374832
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0121813
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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