Mayaro virus: The potential role of microbiota and wolbachia
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The Mayaro virus (MAYV) is an arbovirus that circulates mainly in tropical forests or rural areas in Latin America and is transmitted mainly by Haemagogus mosquitoes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the vector competence, microbiome, and the presence of Wolbachia in three Aedes albopictus populations infected with MAYV. The vector competence was assessed based on viral infection and transmission by RT-qPCR. In addition, the microbiome was evaluated by amplification of the 16S rRNA V4 region and PCR to detect the presence of Wolbachia (strain wAlbA/wAlbB). Our results show that all three populations were susceptible to MAYV infection. The potential transmission of the MAYV was consistent in all populations of naïve mosquitoes injected (more than 50%). The microbiome analysis revealed 118 OTUs (operational taxonomic unit) from the three populations, 8 phyla, 15 classes, 26 orders, 35 families, 65 genera, and 53 species. All populations had Pseudomonas and Wolbachia as predominant genera. There was no difference between the variables for MAYV and Wolbachia (wAlbA or wAlbB) in the abdomen. However, in the head + thorax samples at 14 dpi, there was a difference between the two populations, indicating a possible correlation between the presence of Wolbachia (wAlbB) and infection. Overall, we show evidence that Ae. albopictus displays significant infection and transmission competence for the MAYV in the laboratory, and its bacterial microbiota play an important role in the host, mainly the strains of Wolbachia. The influence of the intestinal microbiota of Ae. albopictus is poorly known, and a better understanding of these interactions would open new perspectives for disease control through the manipulation of microbial communities. The exact contribution of this mosquito species to the transmission of the MAYV in the field remains to be confirmed.