From lab to field: the influence of urban landscapes on the invasive potential of Wolbachia in Brazilian Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Heverton Leandro Carneiro DutraLuciano Andrade Moreira

Abstract

The symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia is currently being trialled as a biocontrol agent in several countries to reduce dengue transmission. Wolbachia can invade and spread to infect all individuals within wild mosquito populations, but requires a high rate of maternal transmission, strong cytoplasmic incompatibility and low fitness costs in the host in order to do so. Additionally, extensive differences in climate, field-release protocols, urbanization level and human density amongst the sites where this bacterium has been deployed have limited comparison and analysis of Wolbachia's invasive potential. We examined key phenotypic effects of the wMel Wolbachia strain in laboratory Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with a Brazilian genetic background to characterize its invasive potential. We show that the wMel strain causes strong cytoplasmic incompatibility, a high rate of maternal transmission and has no evident detrimental effect on host fecundity or fertility. Next, to understand the effects of different urban landscapes on the likelihood of mosquito survival, we performed mark-release-recapture experiments using Wolbachia-uninfected Brazilian mosquitoes in two areas of Rio de Janeiro where Wolbachia will be deployed in the future. We cha...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
PCR

Software Mentioned

R
GraphPad Prism
EggCounter

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