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Trends Parasitol. 2016 Sep;32(9):739-749. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 25.

Grandeur Alliances: Symbiont Metabolic Integration and Obligate Arthropod Hematophagy.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, West Virginia University, 53 Campus Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA. Electronic address: rita.rio@mail.wvu.edu.
2
Yale School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

Abstract

Several arthropod taxa live exclusively on vertebrate blood. This food source lacks essential metabolites required for the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis, and as such, these arthropods have formed symbioses with nutrient-supplementing microbes that facilitate their host's 'hematophagous' feeding ecology. Herein we highlight metabolic contributions of bacterial symbionts that reside within tsetse flies, bed bugs, lice, reduviid bugs, and ticks, with specific emphasis on B vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis. Importantly, these arthropods can transmit pathogens of medical and veterinary relevance and/or cause infestations that induce psychological and dermatological distress. Microbial metabolites, and the biochemical pathways that generate them, can serve as specific targets of novel control mechanisms aimed at disrupting the metabolism of hematophagous arthropods, thus combatting pest invasion and vector-borne pathogen transmission.

KEYWORDS:

B vitamins; blood; hematophagy; microbiota; symbiont; vector

PMID:
27236581
PMCID:
PMC5007164
DOI:
10.1016/j.pt.2016.05.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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