Simple, sensitive, and cost-effective detection of wAlbB Wolbachia in Aedes mosquitoes, using loop mediated isothermal amplification combined with the electrochemical biosensing method

P. Thayanukul, B. Lertanantawong, W. Sirawaraporn, S. Charasmongkolcharoen, T. Chaibun, R. Jittungdee and P. Kittayapong,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:e0009600. 2022.

Author summary Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, zika, and yellow fever are transmitted to humans mainly by the bites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Controlling the vectors of these diseases relies mostly on the use of insecticides. However, the efficiency has been reduced through the development of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that is naturally found in 40% of insects, including mosquitoes. The bacterium can protect its insect hosts from viral infections and can also cause sterility in insect host populations, therefore, providing an opportunity to use it for human disease control. Application of a Wolbachia trans-infected mosquitoes needs simple, rapid and sensitive methods for detecting the bacteria in released mosquitoes. In this paper, we develop the methods of LAMP and BIOSENSORS for detecting wAlbB Wolbachia in mosquitoes. Our positive LAMP reaction can be visualized by color change from violet to blue at a sensitivity of ≥ 10 pg of genomic DNA. When used in combination with the BIOSENSOR method, the sensitivity increases a millionfold without losing specificity. Our study suggests that both developed methods, either used in combination or stand-alone, are efficient and cost-effective, hence, they could be applied for routine surveys of Wolbachia in mosquito control programs that use Wolbachia-based approaches.

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