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Article

Lutzomyia longipalpis Antimicrobial Peptides: Differential Expression during Development and Potential Involvement in Vector Interaction with Microbiota and Leishmania

1
Laboratório de Biologia Molecular de Parasitas e Vetores, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Av. Brasil 4365, Rio de Janeiro 21040-360, Brazil
2
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 12844 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helena Castro
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061271
Received: 28 December 2020 / Revised: 4 February 2021 / Accepted: 15 February 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leishmania and Leishmaniasis)
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are produced to control bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and other infectious agents. Sand fly larvae develop and feed on a microbe-rich substrate, and the hematophagous females are exposed to additional pathogens. We focused on understanding the role of the AMPs attacin (Att), cecropin (Cec), and four defensins (Def1, Def2, Def3, and Def4) in Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in the Americas. Larvae and adults were collected under different feeding regimens, in addition to females artificially infected by Leishmania infantum. AMPs’ gene expression was assessed by qPCR, and gene function of Att and Def2 was investigated by gene silencing. The gene knockdown effect on bacteria and parasite abundance was evaluated by qPCR, and parasite development was verified by light microscopy. We demonstrate that L. longipalpis larvae and adults trigger AMPs expression during feeding, which corresponds to an abundant presence of bacteria. Att and Def2 expression were significantly increased in Leishmania-infected females, while Att suppression favored bacteria growth. In conclusion, L. longipalpis AMPs’ expression is tuned in response to bacteria and parasites but does not seem to interfere with the Leishmania cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lutzomyia longipalpis; antimicrobial peptides; innate immunity; RNAi gene silencing; Leishmania; microbiota Lutzomyia longipalpis; antimicrobial peptides; innate immunity; RNAi gene silencing; Leishmania; microbiota
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MDPI and ACS Style

Telleria, E.L.; Tinoco-Nunes, B.; Leštinová, T.; de Avellar, L.M.; Tempone, A.J.; Pitaluga, A.N.; Volf, P.; Traub-Csekö, Y.M. Lutzomyia longipalpis Antimicrobial Peptides: Differential Expression during Development and Potential Involvement in Vector Interaction with Microbiota and Leishmania. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1271. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061271

AMA Style

Telleria EL, Tinoco-Nunes B, Leštinová T, de Avellar LM, Tempone AJ, Pitaluga AN, Volf P, Traub-Csekö YM. Lutzomyia longipalpis Antimicrobial Peptides: Differential Expression during Development and Potential Involvement in Vector Interaction with Microbiota and Leishmania. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(6):1271. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061271

Chicago/Turabian Style

Telleria, Erich L.; Tinoco-Nunes, Bruno; Leštinová, Tereza; de Avellar, Lívia M.; Tempone, Antonio J.; Pitaluga, André N.; Volf, Petr; Traub-Csekö, Yara M. 2021. "Lutzomyia longipalpis Antimicrobial Peptides: Differential Expression during Development and Potential Involvement in Vector Interaction with Microbiota and Leishmania" Microorganisms 9, no. 6: 1271. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9061271

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