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Impacts of Wolbachia Infection on Predator Prey Relationships: Evaluating Survival and Horizontal Transfer between wMelPop Infected Aedes aegypti and Its Predators

Hurst, Timothy P. and Pittman, Geoff and O'Neill, Scott L. and Ryan, Peter A. and Nguyen, Hoang Le and Kay, Brian H. (2012) Impacts of Wolbachia Infection on Predator Prey Relationships: Evaluating Survival and Horizontal Transfer between wMelPop Infected Aedes aegypti and Its Predators. Journal of Medical Entomology, 49 (3). pp. 624-630. ISSN 0022-2585. doi:10.1603/ME11277. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120618-102723486

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Abstract

The wMelPop strain of Wolbachia is currently being investigated for its potential use as a biological control agent to reduce the ability of Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquitoes to transmit dengue viruses. The survival of a potential wMelPop infected Ae. aegypti strain for field release is important as a higher susceptibility to predation in the wMelPop strain could result in difficulties in achieving fixation. We investigated immature and adult survival as a function of susceptibility to predation by six naturally occurring predator species; cyclopoid copepods, fish, predatory Toxorhynchites mosquito larvae and a salticid jumping spider. The trials indicated that wMelPop infected and uninfected Ae. aegypti larvae and adults were equally susceptible to predation to all six tested predators. In addition to evaluating any potential fitness costs to the infected host, we were unable to demonstrate horizontal transfer of wMelPop via consumption of infected Ae. aegypti larvae to the above predators. That susceptibility to predation was consistent across mosquito life stage, predator species and experimental venue is strong evidence that despite the neurotrophic and extensive nature of wMelPop infection, behavioral changes are not occurring, or at least not a determining factor in survival when exposed to a predator. Based on our results and the ecology of Wolbachia and mosquito predators, horizontal transfer of wMelPop from Ae. aegypti into naturally occurring predators is not cause for concern.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/ME11277DOIArticle
http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/ME11277PublisherArticle
Additional Information:© 2012 Entomological Society of America. Received 9 December 2011; accepted 7 February 2012. The authors thank Lance Maddock (Queensland Institute of Medical Research) for assistance in the laboratory trials and Yi San Leong (University of Queensland) for processing and PCR screening of samples. This work was funded by Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through the Vector-Based Transmission of Control: Discovery Research (VCTR) program of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Mosquito and Arbovirus Research Committee Inc.
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Funding AgencyGrant Number
Foundation for the National Institutes of HealthUNSPECIFIED
Grand Challenges in Global Health initiativeUNSPECIFIED
Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Mosquito and Arbovirus Research Committee Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Wolbachia; fitness; Aedes aegypti; transfer; predation
Issue or Number:3
DOI:10.1603/ME11277
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120618-102723486
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120618-102723486
Official Citation:Impacts of Wolbachia Infection on Predator Prey Relationships: Evaluating Survival and Horizontal Transfer between wMelPop Infected Aedes aegypti and Its Predators Timothy P. Hurst, Geoff Pittman, Scott L. O'Neill, Peter A. Ryan, Hoang Le Nguyen, and Brian H. Kay Journal of Medical Entomology 2012 49 (3), 624-630
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31929
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:18 Jun 2012 21:04
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 20:02

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