Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Naturally occurring protozoan parasites of insects are under study to evaluate and develop these disease causing organisms as biological control agents. Gregarine parasites are known to infect insects worldwide, but fundamental knowledge on their life cycles, modes of transmission and methods for identification is presently incomplete. This investigation undertaken by scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida describes a new method to distinguish two important gregarine species in mosquitoes. The new information obtained in this study contributes to our basic understanding of these parasites, which will assist in determining the role of these gregarines in ecological studies of their mosquito hosts.
Technical Abstract: Ascogregarina culicis and A. taiwanensis (Apicomplexa: Lecudinidae) are aseptate gregarines found in the digestive tracts of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus respectively. These mosquitoes are important vectors of several arboviruses such as dengue and yellow fever. However, no methods have been described to distinguish gamonts or gametocysts of A. culicis and A. taiwanensis. This has been an impediment when conducting laboratory and field studies to estimate prevalence with dual infections in competition studies between Ae. aegypti and/or Ae. albopictus. Here we report a simple and reliable method to separate gamonts of A. culicis from A. taiwanensis present in the digestive tract of either Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus larvae.