Research Article: Wolbachia Can Enhance Plasmodium Infection in Mosquitoes: Implications for Malaria Control?

Date Published: September 4, 2014

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Grant L. Hughes, Ana Rivero, Jason L. Rasgon, Glenn F. Rall.


Partial Text

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 [1]. These properties, coupled with the recently identified ability to inhibit diverse pathogens [2]–[6], open avenues for its use in controlling vector-borne disease. Numerous Wolbachia-based control strategies are being investigated (reviewed in [7]–[9]), with some studies having progressed to field trials [10], [11]. However, a worrying trend is emerging whereby Wolbachia infections have been demonstrated to enhance rather than suppress pathogens in some systems [12]–[18]. Plasmodium parasites, which are the causal agent of malaria, seem particularly prone to Wolbachia-mediated pathogen enhancement [13]–[16].




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