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Open AccessReview

Wolbachia’s Deleterious Impact on Aedes aegypti Egg Development: The Potential Role of Nutritional Parasitism

Institute of Vector-Borne Disease, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia
Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia
World Mosquito Program, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Smithfield, QLD 4811, Australia
Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Smithfield, QLD 4811, Australia
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City 710400, Vietnam
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2020 / Revised: 18 October 2020 / Accepted: 22 October 2020 / Published: 27 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Symbionts: Evolution and Application)
Mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya cause a significant global health burden and are currently increasing in outbreak frequency and geographical reach. Wolbachia pipientis, an endosymbiotic bacterium, offers a solution to this. When Wolbachia is introduced into the main mosquito vector of these viruses, Aedes aegypti, it alters the mosquito’s reproductive biology, as well as reducing the ability of the mosquitoes to transmit viruses. These traits can be leveraged to reduce virus transmission within a community by mass releasing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. However, Wolbachia has some negative effects on Aedes aegypti fitness, particularly egg longevity, and the reason behind this remains ambiguous. Insect fitness is very important for the success for Wolbachia-biocontrol strategies as they rely on the released insects being competitive with the wild mosquito population. This review summarises the fitness effects of Wolbachia on Aedes aegypti and investigates the possible contribution of Wolbachia as a nutritional parasite in lowering host fitness. It proposes the next stages of research that can be conducted to address nutritional parasitism to aid in the expansion of Wolbachia-based disease management programs worldwide.
The artificial introduction of the endosymbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis, into Aedes (Ae.) aegypti mosquitoes reduces the ability of mosquitoes to transmit human pathogenic viruses and is now being developed as a biocontrol tool. Successful introgression of Wolbachia-carrying Ae. aegypti into native mosquito populations at field sites in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia has been associated with reduced disease prevalence in the treated community. In separate field programs, Wolbachia is also being used as a mosquito population suppression tool, where the release of male only Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti prevents the native mosquito population from producing viable eggs, subsequently suppressing the wild population. While these technologies show great promise, they require mass rearing of mosquitoes for implementation on a scale that has not previously been done. In addition, Wolbachia induces some negative fitness effects on Ae. aegypti. While these fitness effects differ depending on the Wolbachia strain present, one of the most consistent and significant impacts is the shortened longevity and viability of eggs. This review examines the body of evidence behind Wolbachia’s negative effect on eggs, assesses nutritional parasitism as a key cause and considers how these impacts could be overcome to achieve efficient large-scale rearing of these mosquitoes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wolbachia; Aedes aegypti; biocontrol; nutritional parasitism Wolbachia; Aedes aegypti; biocontrol; nutritional parasitism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Allman, M.J.; Fraser, J.E.; Ritchie, S.A.; Joubert, D.A.; Simmons, C.P.; Flores, H.A. Wolbachia’s Deleterious Impact on Aedes aegypti Egg Development: The Potential Role of Nutritional Parasitism. Insects 2020, 11, 735.

AMA Style

Allman MJ, Fraser JE, Ritchie SA, Joubert DA, Simmons CP, Flores HA. Wolbachia’s Deleterious Impact on Aedes aegypti Egg Development: The Potential Role of Nutritional Parasitism. Insects. 2020; 11(11):735.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Allman, Megan J.; Fraser, Johanna E.; Ritchie, Scott A.; Joubert, D. A.; Simmons, Cameron P.; Flores, Heather A. 2020. "Wolbachia’s Deleterious Impact on Aedes aegypti Egg Development: The Potential Role of Nutritional Parasitism" Insects 11, no. 11: 735.

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