First report of natural Wolbachia infection in the malaria mosquito Anopheles arabiensis in Tanzania

Baldini, F. , Rougé, J., Kreppel, K., Mkandawile, G., Mapua, S. A., Sikulu-Lord, M., Ferguson, H. , Govella, N. and Okumu, F. O. (2018) First report of natural Wolbachia infection in the malaria mosquito Anopheles arabiensis in Tanzania. Parasites and Vectors, 11, 635. (doi:10.1186/s13071-018-3249-y) (PMID:30545384) (PMCID:PMC6293665)

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Abstract

Background: Natural infections of the endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia have recently been discovered in populations of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) in Burkina Faso and Mali, West Africa. This Anopheles specific strain wAnga limits the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum infections in the mosquito, thus it offers novel opportunities for malaria control. Results: We investigated Wolbachia presence in Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus, which are the two main malaria vectors in the Kilombero Valley, a malaria endemic region in south-eastern Tanzania. We found 3.1% (n = 65) and 7.5% (n = 147) wAnga infection prevalence in An. arabiensis in mosquitoes collected in 2014 and 2016, respectively, while no infection was detected in An. funestus (n = 41). Phylogenetic analysis suggests that at least two distinct strains of wAnga were detected, both belonging to Wolbachia supergroup A and B. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first confirmation of natural Wolbachia in malaria vectors in Tanzania, which opens novel questions on the ecological and genetic basis of its persistence and pathogen transmission in the vector hosts. Understanding the basis of interactions between Wolbachia, Anopheles mosquitoes and malaria parasites is crucial for investigation of its potential application as a biocontrol strategy to reduce malaria transmission, and assessment of how natural wAnga infections influence pathogen transmission in different ecological settings.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by an AXA RF fellowship (14-AXA-PDOC-130) and an EMBO LT fellowship (43-2014) to FB. FO was also funded by a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine (grant number: WT102350/Z/13). KK was supported by DELTAS Africa Initiative (Afrique One-ASPIRE/ DEL-15-008).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rougé, Justine and Kreppel, Dr Katharina and Okumu, Dr Fredros and Baldini, Dr Francesco and Govella, Dr Nicodem and Ferguson, Professor Heather
Authors: Baldini, F., Rougé, J., Kreppel, K., Mkandawile, G., Mapua, S. A., Sikulu-Lord, M., Ferguson, H., Govella, N., and Okumu, F. O.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Parasites and Vectors
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1756-3305
ISSN (Online):1756-3305
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Parasites and Vectors 11: 635
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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