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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348161

Research Project: New Microbial and Plant-Based Agents for Mosquito Control

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Host blood meal source has a strong impact on gut microbiota of Aedes aegypti

item Muturi, Ephantus
item Dunlap, Christopher
item Ramirez, Jose
item Rooney, Alejandro - Alex
item KIM, CHANG-HYUN - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2018
Publication Date: 10/24/2018
Citation: Muturi, E.J., Dunlap, C.A., Ramirez, J.L., Rooney, A.P., Kim, C. 2018. Host blood meal source has a strong impact on gut microbiota of Aedes aegypti. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 95.

Interpretive Summary: Mosquitoes are associated with non-pathogenic bacteria that contribute essential roles in host biology including survival, reproduction, and defense against pathogens. Most of these microbes are not well characterized particularly with regard to how they respond to mosquito diet. This study examined how the bacterial communities within the mosquito midgut gut respond to blood meals from different vertebrate hosts including human, rabbit and chicken. Our results revealed that the composition of bacterial communities in mosquito midguts change in response to host blood meal type. The diversity of bacterial communities in mosquito midguts reduced significantly in response to sugar-feeding and blood-feeding with the lowest diversity occurring in sugar-fed mosquitoes. Changes in midgut bacterial communities in mosquito midguts in response to blood meal type may influence the ability of mosquitoes to transmit pathogens and ultimately the transmission dynamics of mosquito-borne pathogens.

Technical Abstract: Gut microbial communities of mosquitoes can influence vector susceptibility to pathogens, yet the factors that govern their composition remain poorly understood. We investigated the impact of host blood meal source on gut microbiota of Aedes aegypti L. Adult mosquitoes were fed on human, rabbit or chicken blood and their gut microbiota compared to those of sugar-fed and newly emerged adults. Microbial diversity was significantly reduced in blood-fed and sugar-fed mosquitoes but was restored to the levels of newly emerged adults’ 7-days post blood meal. Microbial composition was strongly influenced by host blood meal source. Leucobacter spp., Chryseobacterium spp., Elizabethkingia spp. and Serratia spp. were characteristic of newly emerged adults and adults fed on chicken, rabbit, and human blood respectively. Sugar-fed mosquitoes had higher abundance of Pseudomonas spp. and unclassified Acetobacteraceae. Shifts in gut microbial communities in response to host blood meal source may fundamentally impact pathogen transmission given the well-documented link between specific bacterial taxa and vector susceptibility to a variety of mosquito-borne pathogens and may be a key determinant of individual and population variation in vector competence.