Multiple Factors Determine the Structure of Bacterial Communities Associated With Aedes albopictus Under Artificial Rearing Conditions.
ABSTRACT: Insect symbionts are major manipulators of host's behavior. Their effect on parameters such as fecundity, male mating competitiveness, and biological quality in general, can have a major influence on the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique (SIT). SIT is currently being developed and applied against human disease vectors, including Ae. albopictus, as an environment-friendly method of population suppression, therefore there is a renewed interest on both the characterization of gut microbiota and their exploitation in artificial rearing. In the present study, bacterial communities of eggs, larvae, and adults (both males and females) of artificially reared Ae. albopictus, were characterized using both culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. Mosquito-associated bacteria corresponding to thirteen and five bacteria genera were isolated from the larval food and the sugar solution (adult food), respectively. The symbiont community of the females was affected by the provision of a blood meal. Pseudomonas and Enterobacter were either introduced or enhanced with the blood meal, whereas Serratia were relatively stable during the adult stage of females. Maintenance of these taxa in female guts is probably related with blood digestion. Gut-associated microbiota of males and females were different, starting early after emergence and continuing in older stages. Our results indicate that eggs contained bacteria from more than fifteen genera including Bacillus, Chryseobacterium, and Escherichia-Shigella, which were also main components of gut microbiota of female adults before and after blood feeding, indicating potential transmission among generations. Our results provided a thorough study of the egg- and gut-associated bacteria of artificially reared Ae. albopictus, which can be important for further studies using probiotic bacteria to improve the effectiveness of mosquito artificial rearing and SIT applications.
Project description:The production of large numbers of males needed for a sustainable sterile insect technique (SIT) control program requires significant developmental and operational costs. This may constitute a significant economic barrier to the installation of large scale rearing facilities in countries that are undergoing a transition from being largely dependent on insecticide use to be in a position to integrate the SIT against Aedes albopictus. Alternative options available for those countries could be to rely on outsourcing of sterile males from a foreign supplier, or for one centralised facility to produce mosquitoes for several countries, thus increasing the efficiency of the mass-rearing effort. However, demonstration of strain compatibility is a prerequisite for the export of mosquitoes for transborder SIT applications. Here, we compared mating compatibility among Ae. albopictus populations originating from three islands of the South Western Indian Ocean, and assessed both insemination rates and egg fertility in all possible cross-mating combinations. Furthermore, competitiveness between irradiated and non-irradiated males from the three studied strains, and the subsequent effect on female fertility were also examined. Although morphometric analysis of wing shapes suggested phenoptypic differences between Ae. albopictus strains, perfect reproductive compatibility between them was observed. Furthermore, irradiated males from the different islands demonstrated similar levels of competitiveness and induced sterility when confronted with fertile males from any of the other island populations tested. In conclusion, despite the evidence of inter-strain differences based on male wing morphology, collectively, our results provide a new set of expectations for the use of a single candidate strain of mass-reared sterile males for area-wide scale application of SIT against Ae. albopictus populations in different islands across the South Western Indian Ocean. Cross-mating competitiveness tests such as those applied here are necessary to assess the quality of mass reared strains for the trans-border application of sterile male release programs.
Project description:The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is a major pathogen vector and one of the world's most invasive species. In recent years, the study of mosquito-associated microbiota has received growing interest for reducing transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens. Most of studies on mosquito microbiota mainly focused on the gut bacteria. However, microorganisms can also colonize other organs and are not restricted to bacteria. In mosquitoes, the crop is the primary storage organ for sugars from the nectar feeding before it is transferred into the midgut for digestion. No study has yet investigated whether this organ can harbor microorganisms in Ae. albopictus. By using high-throughput sequencing, this study is the first to describe the microbiota including both bacteria and fungi in sugar-fed Ae. albopictus males and females. The results showed the presence of diverse and rich bacterial and fungal communities in the crop of both sexes that did not strongly differ from the community composition and structure found in the gut. Altogether, our results provide a thorough description of the crop-associated microbiota in Ae. albopictus which can open new avenues for further studies on trophic interactions between the mosquito and its microbiota.
Project description:A key feature in the recent widespread epidemic of the mosquito-borne alphavirus chikungunya virus (CHIKV) was the important role of Aedes albopictus, formerly regarded as a secondary vector, compared to the presumed primary vector Aedes aegypti. Ae. albopictus, a container-inhabiting mosquito, is an invasive species that occurs over a wide geographic range spanning tropical and temperate latitudes. In this study we examine the effects of a broad range of larval rearing temperatures on CHIKV infection, dissemination, and viral titer in Florida F(1) Ae. albopictus. Adults from larvae reared at 18 degrees C, 24 degrees C, and 32 degrees C differed significantly in size, development time, and CHIKV infection rate. Adult females with the largest body size were produced from the coolest temperature, took the longest to mature, and six times more likely to be infected with CHIKV than females reared at 32 degrees C. There was also a significant effect of rearing temperature on viral dissemination, resulting in an increase in population dissemination at the coolest temperature. This study indicates that climate factors, such as temperature, experienced at the larval stage, can influence the competence of adult females to vector arboviruses.
Project description:Oligosaccharides support gut development and bacterial colonization in term infants, but it is unknown if they benefit preterm infants. Using preterm pigs, we investigated effects of bovine milk supplements enriched with oligosaccharides to improve gut development and colonization. Caesarean-delivered preterm pigs (n = 57) were reared for 19 days. The pigs were fed bovine milk supplemented with an oligosaccharide-enriched whey containing sialyllactose, or a heterogeneous oligosaccharide ingredient. To evaluate the influence of artificial rearing, near-term, vaginally born pigs raised by their sow (n = 12) were compared with artificially reared, caesarean-delivered near-term pigs (n = 14). In preterm pigs, the clinical outcome, gut function, gut microbiota, and systemic immunity were similar among dietary treatments. Natural rearing increased growth rates, gut functions, colon short chain fatty acid concentrations and bacterial diversity, relative to artificial rearing. In conclusion, supplements with bovine milk oligosaccharides were well tolerated, but did not improve gut maturation or clinical outcomes in artificially reared preterm piglets. Immaturity at birth, coupled with artificial rearing, may render the neonate unresponsive to the gut-protective effects of milk oligosaccharides. Whether bovine milk oligosaccharides may affect other endpoints (e.g., brain functions) in conditions of immaturity remains to be investigated.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The auto-dissemination approach has been shown effective at treating cryptic refugia that remain unaffected by existing mosquito control methods. This approach relies on adult mosquito behavior to spread larvicide to breeding sites at levels that are lethal to immature mosquitoes. Prior studies demonstrate that 'dissemination stations,' deployed in mosquito-infested areas, can contaminate adult mosquitoes, which subsequently deliver the larvicide to breeding sites. In some situations, however, preventative measures are needed, e.g., to mitigate seasonal population increases. Here we examine a novel approach that combines elements of autocidal and auto-dissemination strategies by releasing artificially reared, male mosquitoes that are contaminated with an insecticide. METHODOLOGY:Laboratory and field experiments examine for model-predicted impacts of pyriproxyfen (PPF) directly applied to adult male Aedes albopictus, including (1) the ability of PPF-treated males to cross-contaminate females and to (2) deliver PPF to breeding sites. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Similar survivorship was observed in comparisons of PPF-treated and untreated males. Males contaminated both female adults and oviposition containers in field cage tests, at levels that eliminated immature survivorship. Field trials demonstrate an ability of PPF-treated males to transmit lethal doses to introduced oviposition containers, both in the presence and absence of indigenous females. A decline in the Ae. albopictus population was observed following the introduction of PPF-treated males, which was not observed in two untreated field sites. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:The results demonstrate that, in cage and open field trials, adult male Ae. albopictus can tolerate PPF and contaminate, either directly or indirectly, adult females and immature breeding sites. The results support additional development of the proposed approach, in which male mosquitoes act as vehicles for insecticide delivery, including exploration of the approach with additional medically important mosquito species. The novelty and importance of this approach is an ability to safely achieve auto-dissemination at levels of intensity that may not be possible with an auto-dissemination approach that is based on indigenous females. Specifically, artificially-reared males can be released and sustained at any density required, so that the potential for impact is limited only by the practical logistics of mosquito rearing and release, rather than natural population densities and the self-limiting impact of an intervention upon them.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mass-rearing, domestication and gamma irradiation of tephritid fruit flies used in sterile insect technique (SIT) programmes can negatively impact fly quality and performance. Symbiotic bacteria supplied as probiotics to mass-reared fruit flies may help to overcome some of these issues. However, the effects of tephritid ontogeny, sex, diet and irradiation on their microbiota are not well known. RESULTS:We have used next-generation sequencing to characterise the bacterial community composition and structure within Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), by generating 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries derived from the guts of 58 individual teneral and mature, female and male, sterile and fertile adult flies reared on artificial larval diets in a laboratory or mass-rearing environment, and fed either a full adult diet (i.e. sugar and yeast hydrolysate) or a sugar only adult diet. Overall, the amplicon sequence read volume in tenerals was low and smaller than in mature adult flies. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs), belonging to the families Enterobacteriaceae (8 OTUs) and Acetobacteraceae (1 OTU) were most prevalent. Enterobacteriaceae dominated laboratory-reared tenerals from a colony fed a carrot-based larval diet, while Acetobacteraceae dominated mass-reared tenerals from a production facility colony fed a lucerne chaff based larval diet. As adult flies matured, Enterobacteriaceae became dominant irrespective of larval origin. The inclusion of yeast in the adult diet strengthened this shift away from Acetobacteraceae towards Enterobacteriaceae. Interestingly, irradiation increased 16S rRNA gene sequence read volume. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that bacterial populations in fruit flies experience significant bottlenecks during metamorphosis. Gut bacteria in teneral flies were less abundant and less diverse, and impacted by colony origin. In contrast, mature adult flies had selectively increased abundances for some gut bacteria, or acquired these bacteria from the adult diet and environment. Furthermore, irradiation augmented bacterial abundance in mature flies. This implies that either some gut bacteria were compensating for damage caused by irradiation or irradiated flies had lost their ability to regulate bacterial load. Our findings suggest that the adult stage prior to sexual maturity may be ideal to target for probiotic manipulation of fly microbiota to increase fly performance in SIT programmes.
Project description:Aedes aegypti is a major vector of arboviruses that may be controlled on an area-wide basis using the sterile insect technique (SIT). Larval diet is a major factor in mass-rearing for SIT programs. We compared dietary effects on immature development and adult fitness-related characteristics for an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) diet, developed for rearing Ae. albopictus, and a standardized laboratory rodent diet (LRD), under a 14:10 h (light:dark) photoperiod ("light" treatment) or continuous darkness during larval rearing. Larval development was generally fastest in the IAEA diet, likely reflecting the high protein and lipid content of this diet. The proportion of larvae that survived to pupation or to adult emergence did not differ significantly between diets or light treatments. Insects from the LRD-dark treatment produced the highest proportion of male pupae (93% at 24 h after the beginning of pupation) whereas adult sex ratio from the IAEA diet tended to be more male-biased than that of the LRD diet. Adult longevity did not differ significantly with larval diet or light conditions, irrespective of sex. In other aspects the LRD diet generally performed best. Adult males from the LRD diet were significantly larger than those from the IAEA diet, irrespective of light treatment. Females from the LRD diet had ~25% higher fecundity and ~8% higher egg fertility compared to those from the IAEA diet. Adult flight ability did not differ between larval diets, and males had a similar number of copulations with wild females, irrespective of larval diet. The LRD diet had lower protein and fat content but a higher carbohydrate and energetic content than the IAEA diet. We conclude that the LRD diet is a low-cost standardized diet that is likely to be suitable for mass-rearing of Ae. aegypti for area-wide SIT-based vector control.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera, Tephritidae) is the most significant insect pest of Australian horticulture. Bactrocera tryoni is controlled using a range of tools including the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). Mass-rearing and irradiation of pupae in SIT can reduce the fitness and quality of the released sterile insects. Studies have also showed reduced microbial gut diversity in domesticated versus wild tephritids. RESULTS:Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of the bacterial isolates in the mid-gut of mass-reared larvae, and plate counts from individual larval guts showed increased numbers of bacteria in supplemented larvae. Several developmental and fitness parameters were tested including larval development time (egg-hatch to pupation), pupal weight, emergence, flight ability, sex-ratio, and time to adult eclosion (egg-hatch to adult eclosion). Enterobacter sp. and Asaia sp. shortened larval development time, while this was delayed by Lactobacillus sp., Leuconostoc sp. and a blend of all four bacteria. The mean time from egg hatch to adult eclosion was significantly reduced by Leuconostoc sp. and the blend for males and females, indicating that the individual bacterium and consortium affect flies differently depending on the life stage (larval or pupal). There was no impact of bacterial supplemented larvae on pupal weight, emergence, flight ability, or sex ratio. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings show that bacteria fed to the larval stage of B. tryoni can impart fitness advantages, but the selection of probiotic strains (individual or a consortium) is key, as each have varying effects on the host. Bacteria added to the larval diet particularly Leuconostoc sp. and the blend have the capacity to reduce costs and increase the number of flies produced in mass-rearing facilities by reducing time to adult eclosion by 1.3 and 0.8 mean days for males, and 1.2 and 0.8 mean days for females.
Project description:The sterile insect technique (SIT) may offer a means to control the transmission of mosquito borne diseases. SIT involves the release of male insects that have been sterilized by exposure to ionizing radiation. We determined the effects of different doses of radiation on the survival and reproductive capacity of local strains of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus in southern Mexico. The survival of irradiated pupae was invariably greater than 90% and did not differ significantly in either sex for either species. Irradiation had no significant adverse effects on the flight ability (capacity to fly out of a test device) of male mosquitoes, which consistently exceeded 91% in Ae. aegypti and 96% in Ae. albopictus. The average number of eggs laid per female was significantly reduced in Ae. aegypti at doses of 15 and 30 Gy and no eggs were laid by females that had been exposed to 50 Gy. Similarly, in Ae. albopictus, egg production was reduced at doses of 15 and 25 Gy and was eliminated at 35 Gy. In Ae. aegypti, fertility in males was eliminated at 70 Gy and was eliminated at 30 Gy in females, whereas in Ae. albopictus, the fertility of males that mated with untreated females was almost zero (0.1%) in the 50 Gy treatment and female fertility was eliminated at 35 Gy. Irradiation treatments resulted in reduced ovary length and fewer follicles in both species. The adult median survival time of both species was reduced by irradiation in a dose-dependent manner. However, sterilizing doses of 35 Gy and 50 Gy resulted in little reduction in survival times of males of Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti, respectively, indicating that these doses should be suitable for future evaluations of SIT-based control of these species. The results of the present study will be applied to studies of male sexual competitiveness and to stepwise evaluations of the sterile insect technique for population suppression of these vectors in Mexico.
Project description:Aedes mosquitoes are considered highly successful global invasive species and vectors of several pathogens of relevance for public health. Their midgut's microbiota can play an important role in affecting not only their vectorial competence but also their fitness, physiology, food digestion, metabolism, immunity and adaptation to new environmental conditions. Using high-throughput sequencing we compared the microbiota of Aedes albopictus collected in Italy with those reported in populations from France and Vietnam. We also analysed Aedes koreicus gut microbiota for the first time. We found remarkable individual difference along with common bacterial taxa in both species. Ae. albopictus collected in Italy had a lower richness and a different composition of microbiota in respect to specimens collected in France and Vietnam. It also showed a core microbiota formed mainly of bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas. Overall, the two Aedes species (Ae. albopictus and Ae. koreicus) collected in Italy, showed a large core microbiota with 75.98% of the identified Operational Taxonomic Units. Furthermore, Ae. albopictus had 2.5% prevalence of Wolbachia and 0.07% of Asaia spp, while Ae. koreicus had 14.42% of Asaia spp. and no Wolbachia. This study provides new informations on the spatial variation of the midgut bacterial communities in mosquitoes of medical relevance within areas of recent invasion and provide the basis for further studies aimed at assessing the effects of such variation on vectorial capacity for a range of pathogens.