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Keywords:

  • co-adaptation;
  • midgut bacteria;
  • 16S rRNA gene

Abstract

In vector mosquitoes, the presence of midgut bacteria may affect the ability to transmit pathogens. We have used a laboratory colony of Aedes aegypti as a model for bacterial interspecies competition and show that after a blood meal, the number of species (culturable on Luria–Bertani agar) that coexist in the midgut is low and that about 40% of the females do not harbor any cultivable bacteria. We isolated species belonging to the genera Bacillus,Elizabethkingia,Enterococcus,Klebsiella,Pantoea,Serratia, and Sphingomonas, and we also determined their growth rates, antibiotic resistance, and ex vivo inhibition of each other. To investigate the possible existence of coadaptation between midgut bacteria and their host, we fed Ae. aegypti cohorts with gut bacteria from human, a frog, and two mosquito species and followed the bacterial population growth over time. The dynamics of the different species suggests coadaptation between host and bacteria, and interestingly, we found that Pantoea stewartii isolated from Ae. aegypti survive better in Ae. aegypti as compared to P. stewartii isolated from the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.