Oxidative stress correlates with Wolbachia-mediated antiviral protection in Wolbachia-Drosophila associations
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Wolbachia mediates antiviral protection in insect hosts and is being developed as a potential biocontrol agent to reduce the spread of insect-vectored viruses. Definition of the molecular mechanism that generates protection is important for understanding the tripartite interaction between host insect, Wolbachia, and virus. Elevated oxidative stress was previously reported for a mosquito line experimentally infected with Wolbachia, suggesting that oxidative stress is important for Wolbachia-mediated antiviral protection. However, Wolbachia experimentally introduced into mosquitoes impacts a range of host fitness traits, some of which are unrelated to antiviral protection. To explore whether elevated oxidative stress is associated with antiviral protection in Wolbachia-infected insects, we analyzed oxidative stress of five Wolbachia-infected Drosophila lines. In flies infected with protective Wolbachia strains, hydrogen peroxide concentrations were 1.25- to 2-fold higher than those in paired fly lines cured of Wolbachia infection. In contrast, there was no difference in the hydrogen peroxide concentrations in flies infected with nonprotective Wolbachia strains compared to flies cured of Wolbachia infection. Using a Drosophila mutant that produces increased levels of hydrogen peroxide, we investigated whether flies with high levels of endogenous reactive oxygen species had altered responses to virus infection and found that flies with high levels of endogenous hydrogen peroxide were less susceptible to virus-induced mortality. Taken together, these results suggest that elevated oxidative stress correlates with Wolbachia-mediated antiviral protection in natural Drosophila hosts.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
© 2015 American Society for Microbiology. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified