1. Ecology
  2. Epidemiology and Global Health
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Tracking zoonotic pathogens using blood-sucking flies as 'flying syringes'

  1. Paul-Yannick Bitome-Essono  Is a corresponding author
  2. Benjamin Ollomo
  3. Céline Arnathau
  4. Patrick Durand
  5. Nancy Diamella Moukodoum
  6. Lauriane Yacka-Mouele
  7. Alain-Prince Okouga
  8. Larson Boundenga
  9. Bertrand Mve-Ondo
  10. Judicaël Obame-Nkoghe
  11. Pierre Philippe Mbehang Nguema
  12. Flobert Njiokou
  13. Boris Kevin Makanga
  14. Rémi Wattier
  15. Diego Ayala
  16. Francisco J Ayala
  17. Francois Renaud
  18. Virginie Rougeron
  19. François Bretagnolle
  20. Franck Prugnolle  Is a corresponding author
  21. Christophe Paupy  Is a corresponding author
  1. Biogéosciences Unit, UMR 6282 CNRS-uB-EPHE-AgroSup, Équipe Écologie-Évolutive, France
  2. Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Gabon
  3. UMR 224-5290 IRD-CNRS-UM, Centre IRD de Montpellier, France
  4. Université de Yaoundé 1, Cameroon
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e22069 doi: 10.7554/eLife.22069

Abstract

About 60% of emerging infectious diseases in humans are of zoonotic origin. Their increasing number requires the development of new methods for early detection and monitoring of infectious agents in wildlife. Here, we investigated whether blood meals from hematophagous flies could be used to identify the infectious agents circulating in wild vertebrates. To this aim, 1230 blood-engorged flies were caught in the forests of Gabon. Identified blood meals (30%) were from 20 vertebrate species including mammals, birds and reptiles. Among them, 9% were infected by different extant malaria parasites among which some belonged to known parasite species, others to new parasite species or to parasite lineages for which only the vector was known. This study demonstrates that using hematophagous flies as 'flying syringes' constitutes an interesting approach to investigate blood-borne pathogen diversity in wild vertebrates and could be used as an early detection tool of zoonotic pathogens.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Paul-Yannick Bitome-Essono

    Biogéosciences Unit, UMR 6282 CNRS-uB-EPHE-AgroSup, Équipe Écologie-Évolutive, Dijon, France
    For correspondence
    bitomessono@yahoo.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Benjamin Ollomo

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Céline Arnathau

    MIVEGEC Unit, UMR 224-5290 IRD-CNRS-UM, Centre IRD de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Patrick Durand

    MIVEGEC Unit, UMR 224-5290 IRD-CNRS-UM, Centre IRD de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Nancy Diamella Moukodoum

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Lauriane Yacka-Mouele

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Alain-Prince Okouga

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Larson Boundenga

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Bertrand Mve-Ondo

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Judicaël Obame-Nkoghe

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Pierre Philippe Mbehang Nguema

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Flobert Njiokou

    Département de Biologie Animale et Physiologie, Université de Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  13. Boris Kevin Makanga

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  14. Rémi Wattier

    Biogéosciences Unit, UMR 6282 CNRS-uB-EPHE-AgroSup, Équipe Écologie-Évolutive, Dijon, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  15. Diego Ayala

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  16. Francisco J Ayala

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  17. Francois Renaud

    MIVEGEC Unit, UMR 224-5290 IRD-CNRS-UM, Centre IRD de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  18. Virginie Rougeron

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  19. François Bretagnolle

    Biogéosciences Unit, UMR 6282 CNRS-uB-EPHE-AgroSup, Équipe Écologie-Évolutive, Dijon, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  20. Franck Prugnolle

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    For correspondence
    franck.prugnolle@ird.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8519-1253
  21. Christophe Paupy

    Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    For correspondence
    christophe.paupy@ird.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

  • Paul-Yannick Bitome-Essono
  • Flobert Njiokou
  • François Bretagnolle
  • Franck Prugnolle
  • Christophe Paupy

Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle de l'ambassade de France au Gabon

  • Paul-Yannick Bitome-Essono
  • François Bretagnolle

LMI ZOFAC IRD

  • Benjamin Ollomo
  • Franck Prugnolle
  • Christophe Paupy

CIRMF

  • Paul-Yannick Bitome-Essono
  • Benjamin Ollomo
  • Diego Ayala
  • Virginie Rougeron
  • Franck Prugnolle
  • Christophe Paupy

ANR JCJC 07-2012-ORIGIN

  • Virginie Rougeron
  • Franck Prugnolle
  • Christophe Paupy

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ben Cooper, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand

Publication history

  1. Received: October 4, 2016
  2. Accepted: March 14, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 28, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 11, 2017 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2017, Bitome-Essono et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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