Wolbachia, the endosymbiont of arthropods and onchocercid nematodes is present in many medically important insect species, being also considered for the indirect control of parasitic ones. Archaeopsylla erinacei is a flea species infesting hedgehogs acting as vector of Rickettsia felis, Bartonella henselae, and Rickettsia helvetica, thus having public health relevance. The Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) and 16S rRNA genes were used to determine the presence, prevalence and molecular typing of Wolbachia in this flea species collected in two regions of southern Italy. Of the 45 fleas tested (n = 16 males, 35.6%; n = 29 females, 64.4%), 43 (95.6%; 95% CI: 84.8–99.2) scored positive for Wolbachia, of which 15 (33.3%) and 28 (62.2%) were males and females, respectively. The sex-wise prevalence of this endosymbiont was almost equal in both sexes (males 93.8%; 95% CI: 69.5–99.7; females 96.7%; 95% CI: 83.1–99.8). Single locus sequence analysis (SLST) of Wolbachia revealed two sequence types for 16S rRNA gene, named as wAr_15227 and wAr_15234, which came from two different areas, equally distributed in male and female fleas, whilst only one sequence type was identified for wsp gene. The phylogenetic analysis placed the two 16S rRNA sequence types in paraphyletic clades belonging to the supergroup A and B, respectively. Whilst, the tree of wsp gene clustered the corresponding sequence in the same clade including those of Wolbachia supergroup A. In MLST analyses, both Wolbachia sequence types clustered in a monophyletic clade with Drosophila nikananu (wNik) and Drosophila sturtevanti (wStv) from supergroup A. ClonalFrame analysis revealed a recombination event in the wAr_15234 strain which came from Apulia region. Scientific knowledge of the presence/prevalence of Wolbachia among medically important fleas, may contribute to develop an alternative biological method for the vector control.

Molecular detection and characterization of the endosymbiont Wolbachia in the European hedgehog flea, Archaeopsylla erinacei

Latrofa M. S.;Bezerra-Santos M. A.;Sgroi G.;Samarelli R.;Mendoza-Roldan J. A.;Otranto D.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Wolbachia, the endosymbiont of arthropods and onchocercid nematodes is present in many medically important insect species, being also considered for the indirect control of parasitic ones. Archaeopsylla erinacei is a flea species infesting hedgehogs acting as vector of Rickettsia felis, Bartonella henselae, and Rickettsia helvetica, thus having public health relevance. The Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) and 16S rRNA genes were used to determine the presence, prevalence and molecular typing of Wolbachia in this flea species collected in two regions of southern Italy. Of the 45 fleas tested (n = 16 males, 35.6%; n = 29 females, 64.4%), 43 (95.6%; 95% CI: 84.8–99.2) scored positive for Wolbachia, of which 15 (33.3%) and 28 (62.2%) were males and females, respectively. The sex-wise prevalence of this endosymbiont was almost equal in both sexes (males 93.8%; 95% CI: 69.5–99.7; females 96.7%; 95% CI: 83.1–99.8). Single locus sequence analysis (SLST) of Wolbachia revealed two sequence types for 16S rRNA gene, named as wAr_15227 and wAr_15234, which came from two different areas, equally distributed in male and female fleas, whilst only one sequence type was identified for wsp gene. The phylogenetic analysis placed the two 16S rRNA sequence types in paraphyletic clades belonging to the supergroup A and B, respectively. Whilst, the tree of wsp gene clustered the corresponding sequence in the same clade including those of Wolbachia supergroup A. In MLST analyses, both Wolbachia sequence types clustered in a monophyletic clade with Drosophila nikananu (wNik) and Drosophila sturtevanti (wStv) from supergroup A. ClonalFrame analysis revealed a recombination event in the wAr_15234 strain which came from Apulia region. Scientific knowledge of the presence/prevalence of Wolbachia among medically important fleas, may contribute to develop an alternative biological method for the vector control.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/388897
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