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iDNA screening: Disease vectors as vertebrate samplers

Abstract : In the current context of global change and human-induced biodiversity decline, there is an urgent need for developing sampling approaches able to accurately describe the state of biodiversity. Traditional surveys of vertebrate fauna involve time-consuming and skill-demanding field methods. Recently, the use of DNA derived from invertebrate parasites (leeches and blowflies) was suggested as a new tool for vertebrate diversity assessment. Bloodmeal analyses of arthropod disease vectors have long been performed to describe their feeding behaviour, for epidemiological purposes. On the other hand, this existing expertise has not yet been applied to investigate vertebrate fauna per se. Here, we evaluate the usefulness of hematophagous dipterans as vertebrate samplers. Blood-fed sand flies and mosquitoes were collected in Amazonian forest sites and analysed using high-throughput sequencing of short mitochondrial markers. Bloodmeal identifications highlighted contrasting ecological features and feeding behaviour among dipteran species, which allowed unveiling arboreal and terrestrial mammals of various body size, as well as birds, lizards and amphibians. Additionally, lower vertebrate diversity was found in sites undergoing higher levels of human-induced perturbation. These results suggest that, in addition to providing precious information on disease vector host use, dipteran bloodmeal analyses may represent a useful tool in the study of vertebrate communities. Although further effort is required to validate the approach and consider its application to large-scale studies, this first work opens up promising perspectives for biodiversity monitoring and eco-epidemiology.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 9, 2018 - 11:34:51 AM
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Arthur Kocher, Benoit de Thoisy, François Catzeflis, Sophie Valière, Anne-Laure Bañuls, et al.. iDNA screening: Disease vectors as vertebrate samplers. Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2017, 26 (22), pp.6478 - 6486. ⟨10.1111/mec.14362⟩. ⟨hal-01761584⟩



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