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A field survey for Wolbchia and phage WO infections of Aedes albopictus in Guangzhou City, China

Zhang, Dongjing, Zhan, Ximei, Wu, Xiansheng, Yang, Xiao, Liang, Gehao, Zheng, Zhantu, Li, Zhuoya, Wu, Yu, Zheng, Xiaoying
Parasitology research 2014 v.113 no.1 pp. 399-404
Aedes albopictus, Wolbachia, arthropods, bacteria, bacteriophages, biological control, cytoplasmic incompatibility, genes, hosts, insect control, insect vectors, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, surface proteins, surveys, vector control, vector-borne diseases, China
Wolbachia are maternal endosymbiotic bacterium, which infect a diverse range of arthropods, ranging from 20 to 76 % in nature. They are capable of inducing a wide range of reproductive abnormalities to their hosts, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which has been proposed to be used as a tool to modify mosquitoes that are resistant to the development of pathogen, as an alternative vector control strategy. Here, we evaluated the prevalence of Wolbachia and phage WO infections in the field population of Aedes albopictus in Guangzhou City via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using the Wolbachia specific Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) and phage WO orf7 gene primers. Based on the results of PCR and phylogeny analysis, we found that A. albopictus in Guangzhou City were infected with two Wolbachia strains, wAlbA and wAlbB. Phage WO, the virus-infected Wolbachia, was also detected in A. albopictus. One hundred and ten female individuals were screened via PCR, with 109 super-infected with Wolbachia and one sample single-infected with wAlbB strain. And 104 of 113 male individuals were both infected with wAlbA and wAlbB, and nine male samples were found to be infected with wAlbA strain only. The infection rates of phage WO in female and male individuals were 82.73 and 46.02 %, respectively. These results showed that the natural Wolbachia and phage WO infections in A. albopictus population in Guangzhou were at a higher frequency at present, indicating that Wolbachia appear to be a better candidate nature resource for biological control insect vectors to reduce vector-borne diseases.