As a part of a project aiming at the suppression of the mosquito vector Aedes albopictus, a specific Ae. albopictus line producing sterile males, ARwP, was tested for its suitability to intense rearing conditions compatible with mass production and field release. This line was developed by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development thanks to the artificial infection with a heterologous Wolbachia strain, resulting in a bidirectional incompatibility pattern with wild-type Ae. albopictus. ARwP was reared under Standard Operating Procedures at the Centro Agricoltura Ambiente and compared with a wild-type strain in terms of time of pupation onset, production of male pupae in the following 24 h and mechanical sexing efficacy. Mating competitiveness of ARwP males was also evaluated in comparison with irradiated wild-type males in large field enclosures. ARwP males demonstrated a significantly shorter time of pupation onset, a higher rate of production of male pupae in the following 24 h and a lower percentage of residual contaminant females when applying mechanical sexing procedures. In addition, ARwP males were more efficient than wild-types in competing for wild-type females in large enclosures, thus inducing a level of sterility significantly higher than that expected for an equal mating competitiveness. These results encourage the use of this Ae. albopictus strain as suppression tool against Ae. albopictus based on considerations thoroughly discussed in the manuscript.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases
Puggioli, A., Calvitti, M., Moretti, R., & Bellini, R. (2016). wPip Wolbachia contribution to Aedes albopictus SIT performance: Advantages under intensive rearing. Acta Tropica, 164, 473 - 481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.10.014