Extensive genetic diversity of Rickettsiales bacteria in multiple mosquito species

Wen Ping Guo, Jun Hua Tian, Xian Dan Lin, Xue Bing Ni, Xiao Ping Chen, Yong Liao, Si Yuan Yang, J. Stephen Dumler, Edward C. Holmes, Yong Zhen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number38770
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Dec 9 2016

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