Bartonella species in medically important mosquitoes, Central Europe

Rudolf I, Blažejová H, Mendel J, Straková P, Šebesta O, Rettich F, Čabanová V, Miterpáková M, Betášová L, Peško J, Barbušinová E, McKee C, Osikowicz L, Šikutová S, Hubálek Z, Kosoy M

Here, we provide the first mass molecular screening of medically important mosquitoes for Bartonella species using multiple genetic markers. We examined a total of 72,115 mosquito specimens, morphologically attributed to Aedes vexans (61,050 individuals), Culex pipiens (10,484 individuals) and species of the Anopheles maculipennis complex (581 individuals) for Bartonella spp. The initial screening yielded 63 Bartonella-positive A. vexans mosquitoes (mean prevalence 0.1%), 34 Bartonella-positive C. pipiens mosquitoes (mean prevalence 0.3%) and 158 Bartonella-positive A. maculipennis group mosquitoes (mean prevalence 27.2%). Several different Bartonella ITS sequences were recovered. This study highlights the need for molecular screening of mosquitoes, the most important vectors of arthropod-borne pathogens, for potential bacterial agents.