Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Aquatic Hemiptera in Southwest Cameroon: Biodiversity of Potential Reservoirs of Mycobacterium ulcerans and Multiple Wolbachia Sequence Types Revealed by Metagenomics

Version 1 : Received: 1 August 2019 / Approved: 2 August 2019 / Online: 2 August 2019 (11:58:07 CEST)

How to cite: Esemu, S.N.; Dong, X.; Kfusi, A.J.; Hartley, C.S.; Ndip, R.N.; Ndip, L.M.; Darby, A.C.; Post, R.J.; Makepeace, B.L. Aquatic Hemiptera in Southwest Cameroon: Biodiversity of Potential Reservoirs of Mycobacterium ulcerans and Multiple Wolbachia Sequence Types Revealed by Metagenomics. Preprints 2019, 2019080031 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0031.v1). Esemu, S.N.; Dong, X.; Kfusi, A.J.; Hartley, C.S.; Ndip, R.N.; Ndip, L.M.; Darby, A.C.; Post, R.J.; Makepeace, B.L. Aquatic Hemiptera in Southwest Cameroon: Biodiversity of Potential Reservoirs of Mycobacterium ulcerans and Multiple Wolbachia Sequence Types Revealed by Metagenomics. Preprints 2019, 2019080031 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0031.v1).

Abstract

Buruli ulcer (BU), caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a neglected tropical disease associated with freshwater habitats. A variety of limnic organisms harbor this pathogen, including aquatic bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), which have been hypothesized to be epidemiologically important reservoirs. Aquatic Hemiptera exhibit high levels of diversity in the tropics, but species identification remains challenging. In this study, we collected aquatic bugs from emerging foci of BU in the Southwest Region of Cameroon, which were identified using morphological and molecular methods. The bugs were screened for mycobacterial DNA and a selection of 20 mycobacteria-positive specimens from the families Gerridae and Veliidae were subjected to next-generation sequencing. Only one individual revealed putative M. ulcerans DNA, but all specimens contained sequences from the widespread alpha-proteobacterial symbiont, Wolbachia. Phylogenetic analysis placed the Wolbachia sequences into supergroups A, B and F. Circularized mitogenomes were obtained for seven gerrids and two veliids, the first from these families for the African continent. This study suggests that aquatic Hemiptera may have a minor role (if any) in the spread of BU in Southwest Cameroon. Our metagenomic analysis provides new insights into the incursion of Wolbachia into aquatic environments and generates valuable resources to aid molecular taxonomic studies of aquatic Hemiptera.

Subject Areas

Buruli ulcer; symbiosis; Limnogonus; pond skater; riffle bug; Rhagovelia; Metrocoris; Trepobates

Comments (2)

Comment 1
Received: 13 August 2019
Commenter: Eduardo I. Faundez
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Very nice paper, I enjoyed reading.

Here are few comments/suggestions

-In your title use Aquatic Heteroptera (Insecta:Hemiptera) as there are not other aquatic hemipterans.

-Try to indicate the life stages of your specimens, that may have to do with the ability to have/transmit the pathogen.

-Thinking future, check also the non-biting specimens you have, even species believed not to bite humans do, and other bugs are blamed of it, check this for an example https://academic.oup.com/jme/article-abstract/53/1/210/2459586?redirectedFrom=PDF
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Comment 2
Received: 22 August 2019
Commenter: Ben Makepeace
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Thanks Eduardo for the constructive comments. For whatever reason, we failed to find any corixids in our survey. However, thanks for the link to your paper in any case - an interesting read.

Ben
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