Wolbachia 16S rRNA haplotypes detected in wild Anopheles stephensi in eastern Ethiopia

E. Waymire, S. Duddu, S. Yared, D. Getachew, D. Dengela, S. R. Bordenstein, M. Balkew, S. Zohdy, S. R. Irish and T. E. Carter,  Parasites and Vectors,  15:178. 2022.

About two out of three Ethiopians are at risk of malaria, a disease caused by the parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Anopheles stephensi, an invasive vector typically found in South Asia and the Middle East, was recently found to be distributed across eastern and central Ethiopia and is capable of transmitting both P. falciparum and P. vivax. The detection of this vector in the Horn of Africa (HOA) coupled with widespread insecticide resistance requires that new methods of vector control be investigated in order to control the spread of malaria. Wolbachia, a naturally occurring endosymbiotic bacterium of mosquitoes, has been identified as a potential vector control tool that can be explored for the control of malaria transmission. Wolbachia could be used to control the mosquito population through suppression or potentially decrease malaria transmission through population replacement. However, the presence of Wolbachia in wild An. stephensi in eastern Ethiopia is unknown. This study aimed to identify the presence and diversity of Wolbachia in An. stephensi across eastern Ethiopia.

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