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Role of the meconial peritrophic matrix in determining the gut microbial diversity during the transition of larvae to adult Aedes aegypti

Grant number: 19/10590-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Principal Investigator:Jayme Augusto de Souza-Neto
Grantee:Amanda Montezano Cintra
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agronômicas (FCA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


It is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that about 2.5 billion people live in areas at risk of infection with dengue virus (DENV) vector-borne diseases such as Aedes aegypti, with between 50 and 100 million cases of infection each year. Besides the transmission of dengue, the mosquito is also responsible for transmitting other arboviruses of great importance to public health, such as yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya. When Ae. aegypti feeds on infected human blood with pathogens such as the Dengue virus, an interaction of viruses with the mosquito's own organism occurs, and the first place where this interaction will be established is the intestine. The digestive tract of the mosquito Ae. aegypti has divided anatomically into 3 parts: posterior, middle and anterior intestine. Between the endoperitrophic space and the ectoperitrophic space is located the peritrophic matrix (the focus of study of this project) that can be located above the intestinal microvilli and is composed primarily by chitin and proteins associated with its structure. It is believed to have a major role in preventing microorganisms in the food cake from entering the digestive tract of these animals and facilitating digestion by preventing enzymes from being eliminated along with that food bolus throughout the digestion process. The meconium matrix forms in a short period near the emergence of adults and may have a role of a selection of microorganisms. However, the microbiota is highly variable and the sources of this variability are not well understood, which limits the ability to understand or prevent the transmission of pathogens. To understand the present relationship between the intestinal microbiota and the meconium peritrophic matrix present during the adult larvae transition from Ae. aegypti will be carried out the degradation thereof from the use of polyoxin D and with this, it will be possible to carry out a comparison of the microbial diversity found in the presence and absence of this structure. The structure of the peritrophic matrix in the middle intestine of these animals is responsible for harboring a large part of this microbiota acquired by the animal in its larval stage, with the purpose of this project is to uncover the importance of the meconial matrix for the establishment of bacteria along the tissue in the transition between pupa and adult mosquito.

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