Identification of Ochrobactrum as a bacteria with transstadial transmission and potential for application in paratransgenic control of leishmaniasis

VASELEK S., SARAÇ B. E., Uzunkaya A. D., Yilmaz A., KARAASLAN İ. Ç., ALTEN S. B.

Parasitology Research, vol.123, no.1, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 123 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00436-023-08087-9
  • Journal Name: Parasitology Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Bacteria, Ochrobactrum, Paratransgenesis, Phlebotomus, Sand fly
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic vector-borne disease with worldwide distribution. All current approaches in leishmaniasis control or development of vaccines/cures showed only limited success. Recently, paratransgenesis has been marked as a promising strategy for leishmaniasis control. Thus, the investigations of the gut microbial content of sand flies have gained popularity. Gut microbial composition of the laboratory colony of Phlebotomus papatasi was investigated via microbial culturomics approach which refers to the combination of multiple culture conditions and different selective and/or enriched culture mediums, followed by 16S rDNA sequencing. Investigations were conducted on three offspring generations, with six samplings of immature stages (four larval samplings, one pre-pupa, one pupa) and samplings of adults before and after blood feeding. The aim was to determine if microbiome changes during the sand fly development and to identify bacteria with transstadial potential. The presence of 8 bacterial taxa (Bacillus sp., Terribacillus sp., Staphylococcus sp., Alcaligenes sp., Microbacterium sp., Leucobacter sp., Ochrobactrum sp. and Enterobacter sp.), 2 fungi (Fusarium sp. and Acremonium sp.) and 1 yeast (Candida sp.) were recorded. Gram-positive bacteria were more diverse, but gram-negative bacteria were more abundant. All taxa were recorded among immature stage samples, while only one bacterium was detected in adults. Microbial diversity among larval samples was stable, with a steady decrease in pre-pupa and pupa, resulting in the survival of only Ochrobactrum sp. in adults. Abundance of microbes was higher when larvae were actively feeding, with a gradual decrease after larvae stopped feeding and commenced pupation. Ochrobactrum sp. is the bacteria with transstadial potential, worthy of future in-depth analysis for the application in paratransgenic approach for the control of Leishmania sp.