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Molecular detection of six (endo-) symbiotic bacteria in Belgian mosquitoes: first step towards the selection of appropriate paratransgenesis candidates

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Actually, the use of symbiotic bacteria is one of alternative solution to avoid vector resistance to pesticides. In Belgium, among 31 identified mosquito species, 10 were considered as potential vectors. Given to introduction risks of arbovirosis, the purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of symbiosis bacteria in potential mosquito vectors. Eleven species caught from 12 sites in Belgium were used: Culex pipiens s.l., Culex torrentium, Culex hortensis, Anopheles claviger, Anopheles maculipennis s.l., Anopheles plumbeus, Culiseta annulata, Ochlerotatus geniculatus, Ochlerotatus dorsalis, Aedes albopictus, and Coquillettidia richiardii. Six genera of symbiotic bacteria were screened: Wolbachia sp., Comamonas sp, Delftia sp., Pseudomonas sp., Acinetobacter sp., and Asaia sp. A total of 173 mosquito individuals (144 larvae and 29 adults) were used for the polymerase chain reaction screening. Wolbachia was not found in any Anopheles species nor Cx. torrentium. A total absence of Comamonas and Delftia was observed in all species. Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Asaia were found in most of species with a high prevalence for Pseudomonas. These results were discussed to develop potential strategy and exploit the variable occurrence of symbiotic bacteria to focus on them to propose biological ways of mosquito control.

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The authors thank all managers of the capture sites that allowed us unrestricted access to their sites. We also and especially thank Patrick Mavingui and the team of “Dynamics Microbial and Viral Transmission” of the University Claude Bernard 1 to kindly provide us positive controls for bacteria screening. This work was supported by “Subside Federal for Research” (grant R.DIVE.05558-J-F), University of Liege (ULg) to FNR and by the PhD scholarship of the Wallonia-Brussels International granted to SBoukraa.

Authors’ contributions

FNR conceived the study. FNR, SBoukraa, TB contributed to material collection, data analysis, interpretation and manuscript writing. FNR and SBoukraa conducted PCR studies and PCR analysis. SBoyer and FF contributed to data interpretation and manuscript writing. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Fara Nantenaina Raharimalala.

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Raharimalala, F.N., Boukraa, S., Bawin, T. et al. Molecular detection of six (endo-) symbiotic bacteria in Belgian mosquitoes: first step towards the selection of appropriate paratransgenesis candidates. Parasitol Res 115, 1391–1399 (2016).

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