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The microbial RNA metagenome of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) from Germany

Aedes albopictus is a highly invasive mosquito species that has become widespread across the globe. In addition, it is an efficient vector of numerous pathogens of medical and veterinary importance, including dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. Among others, the vector potential of mosquitoes is influenced by their microbiome. However, this influence is very dynamic and can vary between individuals and life stages. To obtain a rough overview on the microbiome of Ae. albopictus populations in Germany, pooled female and pooled male individuals from seven German locations were investigated by total RNA sequencing. The mosquito specimens had been collected as larvae in the field and processed immediately after adult emergence, i.e. without females having fed on blood. RNA fragments with high degrees of identity to a large number of viruses and microorganisms were identified, including, for example, Wolbachia pipientis and Acinetobacter baumannii, with differences between male and female mosquitoes. Knowledge about the natural occurrence of microorganisms in mosquitoes may be translated into new approaches to vector control, for example W. pipientis can be exploited to manipulate mosquito reproduction and vector competence. The study results show how diverse the microbiome of Ae. albopictus can be, and the more so needs to be adequately analysed and interpreted.



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