The Possible Role of Microorganisms in Mosquito Mass Rearing

L. Chersoni, A. Checcucci, M. Malfacini, A. Puggioli, F. Balestrino, M. Carrieri, I. Piunti, M. L. Dindo, P. Mattarelli and R. Bellini,  Insects,  12. 2021.

In Europe, one of the most significant mosquitoes of public health importance is Aedes albopictus (Skuse), an allochthonous species of Asian origin. One of the most promising control methods against Aedes albopictus is the sterile insect technique (SIT), which consists of mass rearing the target species, separation of males from females, and male exposure to sterilizing ionizing radiation. Once released in the environment, the sterile males are expected to search for wild females to mate with. If mating occurs, no offspring is produced. The quality of sterile males is a crucial aspect in SIT programs in order to optimize effectiveness and limit production costs. The integration of probiotic microorganisms in larval and adult mosquito diets could enhance the quality parameters of the released sterile males. In this review, we attempt to give the most representative picture of the present knowledge on the relationships between gut microbiota of mosquitoes and the natural or artificial larval diet. Furthermore, the possible use of probiotic microorganisms for mosquito larvae rearing is explored. Based on the limited amount of data found in the literature, we hypothesize that a better understanding of the interaction between mosquitoes and their microbiota may bring significant improvements in mosquito mass rearing for SIT purposes.

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