Isolation in natural host cell lines of Wolbachia strains wPip from the mosquito Culex pipiens and wPap from the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi

Diverse strains of Wolbachia bacteria, carried by many arthropods, as well as some nematodes, interact in many different ways with their hosts. These include male killing, reproductive incompatibility, nutritional supplementation and suppression or enhancement of the transmission of diseases such as dengue and malaria. Consequently, Wolbachia have an important role to play in novel strategies to control human and livestock diseases and their vectors. Similarly, cell lines derived from insect hosts of Wolbachia constitute valuable research tools in this field. During the generation of novel cell lines from mosquito and sand fly vectors, we isolated two strains of Wolbachia and demonstrated their infectivity for cells from a range of other insects and ticks. These new insect cell lines and Wolbachia strains will aid in the fight against mosquitoes, sand flies and, potentially, ticks and the diseases that these arthropods transmit to humans and their domestic animals.

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