Date Published: September 4, 2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Grant L. Hughes, Ana Rivero, Jason L. Rasgon, Glenn F. Rall.
The symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia is an attractive agent for vector-borne pathogen control. It has long been studied for its ability to manipulate host reproduction and spread into arthropod populations . These properties, coupled with the recently identified ability to inhibit diverse pathogens –, open avenues for its use in controlling vector-borne disease. Numerous Wolbachia-based control strategies are being investigated (reviewed in –), with some studies having progressed to field trials , . However, a worrying trend is emerging whereby Wolbachia infections have been demonstrated to enhance rather than suppress pathogens in some systems –. Plasmodium parasites, which are the causal agent of malaria, seem particularly prone to Wolbachia-mediated pathogen enhancement –.