Dietary cholesterol modulates pathogen blocking by Wolbachia

Caragata, Eric P., Rances, Edwige, Hedges, Lauren M., Gofton, Alexander W., Johnson, Karyn N., O'Neill, Scott L. and McGraw, Elizabeth A. (2013) Dietary cholesterol modulates pathogen blocking by Wolbachia. PloS Pathogens, 9 6: . doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003459

Author Caragata, Eric P.
Rances, Edwige
Hedges, Lauren M.
Gofton, Alexander W.
Johnson, Karyn N.
O'Neill, Scott L.
McGraw, Elizabeth A.
Title Dietary cholesterol modulates pathogen blocking by Wolbachia
Formatted title
Dietary cholesterol modulates pathogen blocking by Wolbachia
Journal name PloS Pathogens   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1553-7374
Publication date 2013-06-27
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003459
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 6
Total pages 9
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis protects its hosts from a range of pathogens by limiting their ability to form infections inside the insect. This “pathogen blocking” could be explained by innate immune priming by the symbiont, competition for host-derived resources between pathogens and Wolbachia, or the direct modification of the cell or cellular environment by Wolbachia. Recent comparative work in Drosophila and the mosquito Aedes aegypti has shown that an immune response is not required for pathogen blocking, implying that there must be an additional component to the mechanism. Here we have examined the involvement of cholesterol in pathogen blocking using a system of dietary manipulation in Drosophila melanogaster in combination with challenge by Drosophila C virus (DCV), a common fly pathogen. We observed that flies reared on cholesterol-enriched diets infected with the Wolbachia strains wMelPop and wMelCS exhibited reduced pathogen blocking, with viral-induced mortality occurring 2–5 days earlier than flies reared on Standard diet. This shift toward greater virulence in the presence of cholesterol also corresponded to higher viral copy numbers in the host. Interestingly, an increase in dietary cholesterol did not have an effect on Wolbachia density except in one case, but this did not directly affect the strength of pathogen blocking. Our results indicate that host cholesterol levels are involved with the ability of Wolbachia-infected flies to resist DCV infections, suggesting that cholesterol contributes to the underlying mechanism of pathogen blocking.
Keyword Life-shortening wolbachia
Mosquito aedes aegypti
Dengue virus
Drosophila melanogaster
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP1092492
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # e1003459

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 70 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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