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Role of plants in the transmission of Asaia sp., which potentially inhibit the Plasmodium sporogenic cycle in Anopheles mosquitoes

  • Bassene, Hubert1
  • Niang, El Hadji Amadou2, 3
  • Fenollar, Florence2, 4
  • Doucoure, Souleymane1
  • Faye, Ousmane3
  • Raoult, Didier5, 2
  • Sokhna, Cheikh1, 2
  • Mediannikov, Oleg5, 2
  • 1 VITROME, Campus International UCAD-IRD, Dakar, Sénégal , Dakar (Senegal)
  • 2 IHU-Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France , Marseille (France)
  • 3 Laboratoire d’Ecologie Vectorielle et Parasitaire, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), de Dakar, Sénégal , de Dakar (Senegal)
  • 4 VITROME, Aix Marseille Univ, IRD, AP-HM, SSA, Marseille, France , Marseille (France)
  • 5 MEФI, IRD, Aix Marseille Univ, AP-HM, Marseille, France , Marseille (France)
Published Article
Scientific Reports
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Apr 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-64163-5
Springer Nature


Biological control against malaria and its transmission is currently a considerable challenge. Plant-associated bacteria of the genus Asaia are frequently found in nectarivorous arthropods, they thought to have a natural indirect action on the development of plasmodium in mosquitoes. However, virtually nothing is known about its natural cycle. Here, we show the role of nectar-producing plants in the hosting and dissemination of Asaia. We isolated Asaia strains from wild mosquitoes and flowers in Senegal and demonstrated the transmission of the bacteria from infected mosquitoes to sterile flowers and then to 26.6% of noninfected mosquitoes through nectar feeding. Thus, nectar-producing plants may naturally acquire Asaia and then colonize Anopheles mosquitoes through food-borne contamination. Finally, Asaia may play an indirect role in the reduction in the vectorial capacity of Anopheles mosquitoes in a natural environment (due to Plasmodium-antagonistic capacities of Asaia) and be used in the development of tools for Asaia-based paratransgenetic malaria control.

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