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Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 9;6:38770. doi: 10.1038/srep38770.

Extensive genetic diversity of Rickettsiales bacteria in multiple mosquito species.

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State Key Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Zoonoses, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing; Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Hangzhou, China.
Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Wenzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Ganzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, China.
Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.
Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Rickettsiales are important zoonotic pathogens, causing severe disease in humans globally. Although mosquitoes are an important vector for diverse pathogens, with the exception of members of the genus Wolbachia little is known about their role in the transmission of Rickettsiales. Herein, Rickettsiales were identified by PCR in five species of mosquitoes (Anopheles sinensis, Armigeres subalbatus, Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus and Cu. tritaeniorhynchus) collected from three Chinese provinces during 2014-2015. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses of the rrs, groEL and gltA genes revealed the presence of Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Candidatus Neoehrlichia, and Rickettsia bacteria in mosquitoes, comprising nine documented and five tentative species bacteria, as well as three symbionts/endosybionts. In addition, bacteria were identified in mosquito eggs, larvae, and pupae sampled from aquatic environments. Hence, these data suggest that Rickettsiales circulate widely in mosquitoes in nature. Also of note was that Ehrlichia and Rickettsia bacteria were detected in each life stage of laboratory cultured mosquitoes, suggesting that Rickettsiales may be maintained in mosquitoes through both transstadial and transovarial transmission. In sum, these data indicate that mosquitoes may have played an important role in the transmission and evolution of Rickettsiales in nature.

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