Rickettsiales are important zoonotic pathogens, causing severe disease in humans globally. Although mosquitoes are an important vector for diverse pathogens, with the exception of members of the genus Wolbachia little is known about their role in the transmission of Rickettsiales. Herein, Rickettsiales were identified by PCR in five species of mosquitoes (Anopheles sinensis, Armigeres subalbatus, Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus and Cu. tritaeniorhynchus) collected from three Chinese provinces during 2014-2015. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses of the rrs, groEL and gltA genes revealed the presence of Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Candidatus Neoehrlichia, and Rickettsia bacteria in mosquitoes, comprising nine documented and five tentative species bacteria, as well as three symbionts/endosybionts. In addition, bacteria were identified in mosquito eggs, larvae, and pupae sampled from aquatic environments. Hence, these data suggest that Rickettsiales circulate widely in mosquitoes in nature. Also of note was that Ehrlichia and Rickettsia bacteria were detected in each life stage of laboratory cultured mosquitoes, suggesting that Rickettsiales may be maintained in mosquitoes through both transstadial and transovarial transmission. In sum, these data indicate that mosquitoes may have played an important role in the transmission and evolution of Rickettsiales in nature.
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