Mosquito microbiota cluster by host sampling location

Ephantus J. Muturi, Doris Lagos-Kutz, Christopher Dunlap, Jose L. Ramirez, Alejandro P. Rooney, Glen L. Hartman, Christopher J. Fields, Gloria Rendon, Chang Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Microbial communities that inhabit the mosquito body play an import role in host biology and may have potential for mosquito control. However, the forces that shape these microbial communities are poorly understood. Methods: To gain a better understanding of how host location influences the composition and diversity of mosquito microbiota, we performed a survey of microbial communities in mosquito samples collected from six USA states using HiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Results: A total of 284 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to 14 phyla were detected in nine mosquito species, with Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria accounting for 95% of total sequences. OTU richness varied markedly within and between mosquito species. The microbial composition and diversity was heavily influenced by the site of mosquito collection, suggesting that host location plays an important role in shaping the mosquito microbiota. Conclusions: Variation in microbial composition and diversity between mosquitoes from different locations may have important implications on vector competence and transmission dynamics of mosquito-borne pathogens. Future studies should investigate the environmental factors responsible for these variations and the role of key bacteria characterized in this study on mosquito biology and their potential application in symbiotic control of mosquito-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number468
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 14 2018


  • 16S rRNA gene
  • HiSeq
  • Microbiota
  • Mosquitoes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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