Midgut fungal and bacterial microbiota of Aedes triseriatus and Aedes japonicus shift in response to La Crosse virus infection

Ephantus Muturi, Jeffrey J. Bara, Alejandro P. Rooney, Allison K. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding how midgut microbial communities of field-collected mosquitoes interact with pathogens is critical for controlling vector infection and disease. We used 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer sequencing to characterize the midgut bacterial and fungal communities of adult females of Aedes triseriatus and Aedes japonicus collected as pupae in tree holes, plastic bins and waste tires and their response to La Crosse virus (LACV) infection. For both mosquito species and across all habitat and virus treatments, a total of 62 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from six phyla and 21 fungal OTUs from two phyla were identified. The majority of bacterial (92%) and fungal (71%) OTUs were shared between the mosquito species; however, several OTUs were unique to each species. Bacterial and fungal communities of individuals that took either infectious or noninfectious bloodmeals were less diverse and more homogeneous compared to those of newly emerged adults. Interestingly, LACV-infected A. triseriatus and A. japonicus had higher bacterial richness and lower fungal richness compared to individuals that took a noninfectious bloodmeal, suggesting that viral infection was associated with an increase in bacterial OTUs and a decrease in fungal OTUs. For both mosquito species, several OTUs were identified that had both high fidelity and specificity to mosquito midguts that were infected with LACV. Overall, these findings demonstrate that bacterial and fungal communities that reside in mosquito midguts respond to host diet and viral infection and could play a role in modulating vector susceptibility to LACV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4075-4090
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • La Crosse virus
  • bacteria
  • fungi
  • mosquito

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

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