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Parasite. 2019;26:2. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2019002. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Dirofilaria and Wolbachia in mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in central European Russia and on the Black Sea coast.

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Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119991, Russia.
Moscow State University, Moscow 119234, Russia.
Martsinovsky Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow 119435, Russia.


Dirofilariasis is endemic in Russia, as well as in many other European countries. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of mosquitoes to transfer Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens in regions with temperate and subtropical climates. The possible impact of the symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia on Dirofilaria transmission was also investigated. 5333 female mosquitoes were collected at 11 points in central European Russia and on the Black Sea coast during the period 2013-2017. Out of 20 mosquito species examined, 14 were infected with D. repens and 13 with D. immitis. Both species of Dirofilaria were found in different climatic regions. The total Dirofilaria spp. estimated infection rate (EIR) in the central part of Russia varied from 3.1% to 3.7% and, in the southern region, from 1.1% to 3.0%. The highest estimated infection rate was found in Anopheles messeae, the lowest in Culex pipiens. The greatest epidemiological danger was represented by Aedes aegypti, Ae. geniculatus, An. messeae and Ae. communis. Six out of 20 mosquito species were infected with Wolbachia. Pools of Aedes albopictus, Cx. pipiens and Coquillettidia richiardii were simultaneously infected with Dirofilaria and Wolbachia. After checking mosquitoes individually, it was found that there was no development of Dirofilaria to the infective larval stage in specimens infected with Wolbachia. Twenty-two Dirofilaria-infective pools were Wolbachia-free and only two mosquito pools were Wolbachia-infected. The potential for transmission of Dirofilaria in mosquito species naturally uninfected with the symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia is higher than in species infected with the bacterium.

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