Mosquito-fungus interactions and antifungal immunity.


Division of Biology, Kansas State University, 267 Chalmers Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


The mosquito immune system has evolved in the presence of continuous encounters with fungi that range from food to foes. Herein, we review the field of mosquito-fungal interactions, providing an overview of current knowledge and topics of interest. Mosquitoes encounter fungi in their aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Mosquito larvae are exposed to fungi on plant detritus, within the water column, and at the water surface. Adult mosquitoes are exposed to fungi during indoor and outdoor resting, blood and sugar feeding, mating, and oviposition. Fungi enter the mosquito body through different routes, including ingestion and through active or passive breaches in the cuticle. Oral uptake of fungi can be beneficial to mosquitoes, as yeasts hold nutritional value and support larval development. However, ingestion of or surface contact with fungal entomopathogens leads to colonization of the mosquito with often lethal consequences to the host. The mosquito immune system recognizes fungi and mounts cellular and humoral immune responses in the hemocoel, and possibly epithelial immune responses in the gut. These responses are regulated transcriptionally through multiple signal transduction pathways. Proteolytic protease cascades provide additional regulation of antifungal immunity. Together, these immune responses provide an efficient barrier to fungal infections, which need to be overcome by entomopathogens. Therefore, fungi constitute an excellent tool to examine the molecular underpinnings of mosquito immunity and to identify novel antifungal peptides. In addition, recent advances in mycobiome analyses can now be used to examine the contribution of fungi to various mosquito traits, including vector competence.


Entomopathogen,Humoral immunity,Infection,Melanization,Mycobiota,

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