Impact of the microbiome on mosquito-borne diseases

Protein Cell. 2023 Oct 25;14(10):743-761. doi: 10.1093/procel/pwad021.


Mosquito-borne diseases present a significant threat to human health, with the possibility of outbreaks of new mosquito-borne diseases always looming. Unfortunately, current measures to combat these diseases such as vaccines and drugs are often either unavailable or ineffective. However, recent studies on microbiomes may reveal promising strategies to fight these diseases. In this review, we examine recent advances in our understanding of the effects of both the mosquito and vertebrate microbiomes on mosquito-borne diseases. We argue that the mosquito microbiome can have direct and indirect impacts on the transmission of these diseases, with mosquito symbiotic microorganisms, particularly Wolbachia bacteria, showing potential for controlling mosquito-borne diseases. Moreover, the skin microbiome of vertebrates plays a significant role in mosquito preferences, while the gut microbiome has an impact on the progression of mosquito-borne diseases in humans. As researchers continue to explore the role of microbiomes in mosquito-borne diseases, we highlight some promising future directions for this field. Ultimately, a better understanding of the interplay between mosquitoes, their hosts, pathogens, and the microbiomes of mosquitoes and hosts may hold the key to preventing and controlling mosquito-borne diseases.

Keywords: malaria; microbiome; mosquito; mosquito-borne viruses; pathogen transmission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culicidae* / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Vector Borne Diseases*
  • Wolbachia*