A Neurotoxic Insecticide Promotes Fungal Infection in Aedes aegypti Larvae by Altering the Bacterial Community

Y. A. Noskov, M. R. Kabilov, O. V. Polenogova, Y. A. Yurchenko, O. E. Belevich, O. N. Yaroslavtseva, T. Y. Alikina, A. M. Byvaltsev, U. N. Rotskaya, V. V. Morozova, V. V. Glupov, V. Y. Kryukov

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Symbiotic bacteria have a significant impact on the formation of defensive mechanisms against fungal pathogens and insecticides. The microbiome of the mosquito Aedes aegypti has been well studied; however, there are no data on the influence of insecticides and pathogenic fungi on its structure. The fungus Metarhizium robertsii and a neurotoxic insecticide (avermectin complex) interact synergistically, and the colonization of larvae with hyphal bodies is observed after fungal and combined (conidia + avermectins) treatments. The changes in the bacterial communities (16S rRNA) of Ae. aegypti larvae under the influence of fungal infection, avermectin toxicosis, and their combination were studied. In addition, we studied the interactions between the fungus and the predominant cultivable bacteria in vitro and in vivo after the coinfection of the larvae. Avermectins increased the total bacterial load and diversity. The fungus decreased the diversity and insignificantly increased the bacterial load. Importantly, avermectins reduced the relative abundance of Microbacterium (Actinobacteria), which exhibited a strong antagonistic effect towards the fungus in in vitro and in vivo assays. The avermectin treatment led to an increased abundance of Chryseobacterium (Flavobacteria), which exerted a neutral effect on mycosis development. In addition, avermectin treatment led to an elevation of some subdominant bacteria (Pseudomonas) that interacted synergistically with the fungus. We suggest that avermectins change the bacterial community to favor the development of fungal infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-505
Number of pages13
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number2
Early online date24 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Avermectins
  • Entomopathogens
  • Metarhizium
  • Microbiome
  • Mosquito


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