Assessment of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for filariae detection in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Abstract : Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is an emerging tool for routine identification of bacteria, archaea and fungi. It has also been recently applied as an accurate approach for arthropod identification. Preliminary studies have shown that the MALDI-TOF MS was able to differentiate whether ticks and mosquitoes were infected or not with some bacteria and Plasmodium parasites, respectively. The aim of the present study was to test the efficiency of MALDI-TOF MS tool in distinguishing protein profiles between uninfected mosquitoes from specimens infected by filarioid helminths. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were engorged on microfilaremic blood infected with Dirofilaria immitis, Brugia malayi or Brugia pahangi. Fifteen days post-infective blood feeding, a total of 534 mosquitoes were killed by freezing. To assess mass spectra (MS) profile changes following filariae infections, one compartment (legs, thorax, head or thorax and head) per mosquito was submitted for MALDI-TOF MS analysis; the remaining body parts were used to establish filariae infectious status by real-time qPCR. A database of reference MS, based on the mass profiles of at least two individual mosquitoes per compartment, was created. Subsequently, the remaining compartment spectra (N = 350) from Ae. aegypti infected or not infected by filariae were blind tested against the spectral database. In total, 37 discriminating peak masses ranging from 2062 to 14869 daltons were identified, of which 17, 11, 12 and 7 peak masses were for legs, thorax, thorax-head and head respectively. Two peak masses (4073 and 8847 Da) were specific to spectra from Ae. aegypti infected with filariae, regardless of nematode species or mosquito compartment. The thorax-head part provided better classification with a specificity of 94.1% and sensitivity of 86.6, 71.4 and 68.7% of D. immitis, B. malayi and B. pahangi respectively. This study presents the potential of MALDI-TOF MS as a reliable tool for differentiating non-infected and filariae-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Considering that the results might vary in other mosquito species, further studies are needed to consolidate the obtained preliminary results before applying this tool in entomological surveillance as a fast mass screening method of filariosis vectors in endemic areas.
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PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2017, 11 (12), pp.e0006093. 〈10.1371/journal.pntd.0006093〉
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Djamel Tahir, Lionel Almeras, Marie Varloud, Didier Raoult, Bernard Davoust, et al.. Assessment of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for filariae detection in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2017, 11 (12), pp.e0006093. 〈10.1371/journal.pntd.0006093〉. 〈hal-01729779〉

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