Field prevalence of Wolbachia in the mosquito vector Aedes albopictus

Pattamaporn Kittayapong, Vitsut Baimai, Scott Leslie O'Neill

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The endosymbiotic bacteria in the genus Wolbachia have been proposed as a potential candidate to deliver pathogen-blocking genes into natural populations of medically important insects. The successful application of Wolbachia in insect vector control depends on the ability of the agent to successfully invade and maintain itself at high frequency under field conditions. Here, we evaluated the prevalence of Wolbachia infections in a field population of the Wolbachia-superinfected mosquito Aedes albopictus. A field prevalence of 100 (n = 1,016) was found in a single population in eastern Thailand via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of Wolbachia both from individual parent females and their corresponding F1 offspring. This is the first report of accurate Wolbachia prevalence in a field population of an insect disease vector. The prevalence of superinfection was estimated to be 99.41 . All single-infected individual mosquitoes (n = 6) were found to harbor group A Wolbachia. For this particular population, none was found to be single-infected with group B Wolbachia. Our results also show that PCR testing of field materials alone without checking F1 offspring overestimated the natural prevalence of single infection. Thus, the confirmation of infection status by means of F1 offspring was critical to the accurate estimates of Wolbachia prevalence under field conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108 - 111
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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