Parasites & vectors 2017 09 2110(1) 440 doi 10.1186/s13071-017-2383-2
Aedes aegypti is a potential vector of West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses. Alternative control measurements of the vector are needed to overcome the problems of environmental contamination and chemical resistance. Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus are symbionts in the intestine of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) Steinernema spp. and Heterorhabditis spp. These bacteria are able to produce a broad range of bioactive compounds including antimicrobial, antiparasitic, cytotoxic and insecticidal compounds. The objectives of this study were to identify Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus isolated from EPNs in upper northern Thailand and to study their larvicidal activity against Ae. aegypti larvae.
A total of 60 isolates of symbiotic bacteria isolated from EPNs consisted of Xenorhabdus (32 isolates) and Photorhabdus (28 isolates). Based on recA gene sequencing, BLASTN and phylogenetic analysis, 27 isolates of Xenorhabdus were identical and closely related to X. stockiae, 4 isolates were identical to X. miraniensis, and one isolate was identical to X. ehlersii. Twenty-seven isolates of Photorhabdus were closely related to P. luminescens akhurstii and P. luminescens hainanensis, and only one isolate was identical and closely related to P. luminescens laumondii. Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus were lethal to Ae aegypti larvae. Xenorhabdus ehlersii bMH9.2_TH showed 100% efficiency for killing larvae of both fed and unfed conditions, the highest for control of Ae. aegypti larvae and X. stockiae (bLPA18.4_TH) was likely to be effective in killing Ae. aegypti larvae given the mortality rates above 60% at 72 h and 96 h.
The common species in the study area are X. stockiae, P. luminescens akhurstii, and P. luminescens hainanensis. Three symbiotic associations identified included P. luminescens akhurstii-H. gerrardi, P. luminescens hainanensis-H. gerrardi and X. ehlersii-S. Scarabaei which are new observations of importance to our knowledge of the biodiversity of, and relationships between, EPNs and their symbiotic bacteria. Based on the biological assay, X. ehlersii bMH9.2_TH begins to kill Ae. aegypti larvae within 48 h and has the most potential as a pathogen to the larvae. These data indicate that X. ehlersii may be an alternative biological control agent for Ae. aegypti and other mosquitoes.