Bacterial communities associated with the midgut microbiota of wild Anopheles gambiae complex in Burkina Faso


Plasmodium falciparum is transmitted by mosquitoes from the Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l) species complex and is responsible for severe forms of malaria. The composition of the mosquitoes’ microbiota plays a role in P. falciparum transmission, so we studied midgut bacterial communities of An. gambiae s.l from Burkina Faso. DNA was extracted from 17 pools of midgut of mosquitoes from the Anopheles gambiae complex from six localities in three climatic areas, including cotton-growing and cotton-free localities to include potential differences in insecticide selection pressure. The v3–v4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was targeted and sequenced using Illumina Miseq (2 × 250 nt). Diversity analysis was performed using QIIME and R software programs. The major bacterial phylum was Proteobacteria (97.2%) in all samples. The most abundant genera were Enterobacter (32.8%) and Aeromonas (29.8%), followed by Pseudomonas (11.8%), Acinetobacter (5.9%) and Thorsellia (2.2%). No statistical difference in operational taxonomic units (OTUs) was found (Kruskal–Wallis FDR—p > 0.05) among the different areas, fields or localities. Richness and diversity indexes (observed OTUs, Chao1, Simpson and Shannon indexes) showed significant differences in the cotton-growing fields and in the agroclimatic zones, mainly in the Sudano-Sahelian area. OTUs from seven bacterial species that mediate refractoriness to Plasmodium infection in An. gambiae s.l were detected. The beta diversity analysis did not show any significant difference. Therefore, a same control strategy of using bacterial species refractoriness to Plasmodium to target mosquito midgut bacterial community and affect their fitness in malaria transmission may be valuable tool for future malaria control efforts in Burkina Faso.

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Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and its supplementary information files. Fastq reads were submitted and are available in the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) Sequence Read Archive (SRA) under BioProjectPRJNA558839.


An. gambiae s.l:

Anopheles gambiae sensu lato


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Operational taxonomic units


Polymerase chain reaction


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This work was funded by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Merit Scholarship Program for High Technology. We are sincerely grateful to all the inhabitants of the mosquito collection villages for participating into this study. We also acknowledge the mosquito collectors (Mrs Tientiga Martin, Zouré Abdou Azaque and Somda Zéphirin.) and Mr Dramé Drissa who identified and dissected the mosquitoes, for their valuable contribution to the successful completion of the study.

Author information




AAZ, AB and FF conceived and designed the study. AAZ, ZS, FY and AB supervised the data and samples collection. AAZ and ARS performed practical work, analyzed, interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript. AB, SM and FF revised the manuscript. All authors were the major contributors in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Abdou Azaque Zoure.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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This study was approved by the National Health Ethic Committee (CERS) in Burkina Faso (reference number 2017-9-143 of 12 September 2017).

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For mosquito collection in residential areas, written informed and consent was obtained from homeowners in each location.

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Zoure, A.A., Sare, A.R., Yameogo, F. et al. Bacterial communities associated with the midgut microbiota of wild Anopheles gambiae complex in Burkina Faso. Mol Biol Rep 47, 211–224 (2020).

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  • Midgut bacteria
  • Anopheles gambiae s.l complex
  • Microbiota
  • Malaria