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Asaia in Aedes aegypti

Posted by anopheles on 25 Nov 2010 at 10:41 GMT

Dear Editor,
I was reading with much interest the paper entitled “Arbovirus Detection in Insect Vectors by Rapid, High-Throughput Pyrosequencing” by Bishop-Lilly et al, recently published in Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases (2010 Nov 9;4(11):e878).
The paper is very interesting and deals also with the microbial composition of the microbiota associated to Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. In this context the paper describes the presence of bacteria belonging to the genus Asaia as associated to the mosquitoes.

The authors in the discussion state that:
“A second aim of this study was to obtain a metagenomic profile of Dengue-infected and noninfected Ae. aegypti. Based on rRNA analysis, the largest contribution of bacterial rRNA in all 3 of the mosquito samples, regardless of their virus-infected status, was that of unclassified bacteria. This is a rather interesting result, although the significance of this finding is not clear at this time. On the other hand, the two specific bacterial genera found to be most abundant were Pirellula and Asaia. While bacteria in the genus Asaia have been previously reported to colonize Anopheles sp. mosquitoes [24], to our knowledge, they have not previously been reported as living in association with Aedes mosquitoes. The finding that reads derived from the α-proteobacterial genus Asaia constitute such a significant proportion of the overall reads is particularly interesting in light of what is know regarding the relationship of Asaia sp. with other types of mosquitoes. Asaia sp. are a group of acetic acid bacteria that, although reported as a stable colonizer of wild-caught and laboratory-bred Anopheles mosquitoes [24], have never before been reported as living in association with Ae. aegypti. Like Wolbachia spp, bacteria that live as endosymbionts with Culex mosquitoes and other insects [25], they have been proposed for use as an agent to control Anopheles [26]. Asaia sp. have also been proposed for use as a malarial control agent due to their ability to efficiently cross mosquito body barriers and persist within the insect [24]. ………………. Additionally, the findings of this study suggest that Asaia sp. could not only be investigated for use as a potential agent for controlling the spread of malaria by Anopheles mosquitoes, but could also be investigated for use in control of dengue transmission by Aedes mosquitoes as well”.

On behalf of my collaborators, Professors Claudio Bandi and Daniele Daffonchio (University of Milano) and Drs. Irene Ricci, Claudia Damiani and Paolo Rossi (University of Camerino), I would like to pinpoint that:
i) We have published the first description of Asaia in Aedes aegypti in 2009 (Crotti et al, Environ Microbiol. 2009 Dec;11(12):3252-64. Epub 2009 Sep 4.);
ii) Some months later, same findings have been reported in Gusmao et al (Acta Trop. 2010 Sep;115(3):275-81. Epub 2010 Apr 29.);
iii) The above paper by Crotti et al., have been cited in some more papers: Damiani et al (Microb Ecol. 2010 Oct;60(3):644-54. Epub 2010 Jun 23); Chouia et al (Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Nov;76(22):7444-50. Epub 2010 Sep 17); Crotti et al, (Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Nov;76(21):6963-70. Epub 2010 Sep 17).
iv) Consequently, we have already proposed the use of Asaia in the control of malaria and others mosquito borne diseases.

This is just for the accuracy of corrected information about the symbiotic relationships between Asaia and mosquito vectors.

I thank you in advance for the time you will dedicate to our note.
Warmest Regards

Guido Favia
Associate Professor of Parasitology
Responsible of the Biological Courses
Tel: +39 0737 403230
Fax: +30 0737 403290

No competing interests declared.

RE: Asaia in Aedes aegypti

Kblilly replied to anopheles on 03 Dec 2010 at 14:24 GMT

Dear Guido Favia,

Thank you for your comment regarding the finding of Asaia as a component of the Ae. aegypti microflora. We appreciate your interest in our work and we thank you for the additional references you have pointed out, including your own work, which clearly add value. Thanks again and best regards.

Kim Bishop-Lilly

No competing interests declared.