Blood-feeding arthropods support a diverse array of symbiotic microbes, some of which facilitate host growth and development whereas others are detrimental to vector-borne pathogens. We found a common core constituency among the microbiota of 16 different arthropod blood-sucking disease vectors, including Bacillaceae, Rickettsiaceae, Anaplasmataceae, Sphingomonadaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Moraxellaceae and Staphylococcaceae. By comparing 21 genomes of common bacterial symbionts in blood-feeding vectors versus non-blooding insects, we found that certain enteric bacteria benefit their hosts by upregulating numerous genes coding for essential nutrients. Bacteria of blood-sucking vectors expressed significantly more genes (p < 0.001) coding for these essential nutrients than those of non-blooding insects. Moreover, compared to endosymbionts, the genomes of enteric bacteria also contained significantly more genes (p < 0.001) that code for the synthesis of essential amino acids and proteins that detoxify reactive oxygen species. In contrast, microbes in non-blood-feeding insects expressed few gene families coding for these nutrient categories. We also discuss specific midgut bacteria essential for the normal development of pathogens (e.g., Leishmania) versus others that were detrimental (e.g., bacterial toxins in mosquitoes lethal to Plasmodium spp.).
Original Publication Citation
Sonenshine, D. E., & Stewart, P. E. (2021). Microbiomes of blood-feeding arthropods: Genes coding for essential nutrients and relation to vector fitness and pathogenic infections. A review. Microorganisms, 9(12), 1-25, Article 2433. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9122433
Sonenshine, Daniel E. and Stewart, Philip E., "Microbiomes of Blood-Feeding Arthropods: Genes Coding for Essential Nutrients and Relation to Vector Fitness and Pathogenic Infections. A Review" (2021). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 469.