Microbial Diversity of Adult Aedes aegypti and Water Collected from Different Mosquito Aquatic Habitats in Puerto Rico

E. P. Caragata, L. M. Otero, C. V. Tikhe, R. Barrera, G. Dimopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mosquitoes, the major vectors of viruses like dengue, are naturally host to diverse microorganisms, which play an important role in their development, fecundity, immunity, and vector competence. The composition of their microbiota is strongly influenced by the environment, particularly their aquatic larval habitat. In this study, we used 2×300 bp 16s Illumina sequencing to compare the microbial profiles of emerging adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and the water collected from common types of aquatic habitat containers in Puerto Rico, which has endemic dengue transmission. We sequenced 141 mosquito and 46 water samples collected from plastic containers, septic tanks, discarded tires, underground trash cans, tree holes, or water meters. We identified 9 bacterial genera that were highly prevalent in the mosquito microbiome, and 77 for the microbiome of the aquatic habitat. The most abundant mosquito-associated bacterial OTUs were from the families Burkholderiaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Comamonadaceae, and Xanthomonadaceae. Microbial profiles varied greatly between mosquitoes, and there were few major differences explained by container type; however, the microbiome of mosquitoes from plastic containers was more diverse and contained more unique taxa than the other groups. Container water was significantly more diverse than mosquitoes, and our data suggest that mosquitoes filter out many bacteria, with Alphaproteobacteria in particular being far more abundant in water. These findings provide novel insight into the microbiome of mosquitoes in the region and provide a platform to improve our understanding of the fundamental mosquito-microbe interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-201
Number of pages20
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • 16s sequencing
  • Aedes aegypti
  • Aquatic container habitat
  • Dengue
  • Microbiome
  • bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Soil Science
  • Ecology


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