CandidatusTisiphia’ is a widespread Rickettsiaceae symbiont in the mosquitoAnopheles plumbeus(Diptera: Culicidae)

Davison et al. (2023).
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AbstractSymbiotic bacteria alter host biology in numerous ways, including the ability to reproduce or vector disease. Deployment of symbiont control of vector borne disease has focused onWolbachiainteractions withAedesand is hampered inAnophelesby a lack of compatible symbioses. Previous screening found the symbiont ‘Ca. Tisiphia’ inAnopheles plumbeus, an aggressive biter and potential secondary vector of malaria parasites and West Nile virus. We screenAn. plumbeussamples collected over a ten-year period across Germany and use climate databases to assess environmental influence on incidence. We find a 95% infection rate that does not fluctuate with broad environmental factors. Microscopy suggests the infection is maternally inherited based on strong localisation throughout the ovaries. Finally, we assemble a high-quality draft genome of ‘Ca. Tisiphia’ to explore its phylogeny and potential metabolism. This strain is closely related to those found inCulicoidesmidges and shows similar patterns of metabolic potential.An. plumbeusprovides a viable avenue of symbiosis research in anopheline mosquitoes, which to date have one other proven infection of a heritable symbiont. Additionally, it provides future opportunity to study the impacts of ‘Ca. Tisiphia’ on natural and transinfected hosts, especially in relation to reproductive fitness and vector efficiency.
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