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Discovery of a novel endosymbiont belonging to Wolbachia in A US Sandfly

Violini, Emily
The sandfly is an important arthropod vector of many diseases affecting both human and animal health including Leishmania, an emerging disease in the United States that is endemic in primarily Southern Europe and Northern Africa. Sandflies from Laramier County, Colorado were analyzed by Next Generation deep sequencing for viruses, bacteria, phages, that may be present within their microbiome. Ultimately symbionts were found, which function similarly to rumen microbes in cattle. The project seeks to utilize Sanger sequencing to verify the sequences of a specific species of the midgut symbiote, and to explore the possible uses and significance of this finding in the perspective of control and public health. Methods utilized Sanger sequencing of PCR product from the symbionts, as well as reviewed of current literature on Wolbachia symbiont species. PCR product was compared to that of nucleic acid from sandflies from Texas which lacked the Wolbachia sequences. Results indicated a novel species of endosymbiont, which was demonstrated through a phylogenetic tree analysis. Wolbachia is useful for the suppression of controlling some arthropods that, like Sandflies, are often vectors for diseases with significant threats to human and animal health. The characterization of Wolbachia within Laramier County sandflies suggests possible methods of disease control should an emerging disease for which it is a vector spread to the region.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Wolbachia,Sandfly,Biocontrol,Endosymbiont,Leishmania,Insect,Public health,bacteria,animal health,emerging disease
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