The human louse (Pediculus humanus) is a haematophagous ectoparasite that is intimately related to its host. It has been of great public health concern throughout human history. This louse has been classified into six divergent mitochondrial clades (A, D, B, F, C and E). As with all haematophagous lice, P. humanus directly depends on the presence of a bacterial symbiont, known as “Candidatus Riesia pediculicola”, to complement their unbalanced diet. In this study, we evaluated the codivergence of human lice around the world and their endosymbiotic bacteria. Using molecular approaches, we targeted lice mitochondrial genes from the six diverged clades and Candidatus Riesia pediculicola housekeeping genes.
The mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cytb) of lice was selected for molecular analysis, with the aim to identify louse clade. In parallel, we developed four PCR primer pairs targeting three housekeeping genes of Candidatus Riesia pediculicola: ftsZ, groEL and two regions of the rpoB gene (rpoB-1 and rpoB-2).
The endosymbiont phylogeny perfectly mirrored the host insect phylogeny using the ftsZ and rpoB-2 genes, in addition to showing a significant co-phylogenetic congruence, suggesting a strict vertical transmission and a host–symbiont co-speciation following the evolutionary course of the human louse.
Our results unequivocally indicate that louse endosymbionts have experienced a similar co-evolutionary history and that the human louse clade can be determined by their endosymbiotic bacteria.
A 59-year-old female living in Rayong Province, eastern Thailand, presented with painless, right upper eyelid nodule for 3 months. Upon removal of the eyelid mass, a well-circumscribed, firm globular mass with diameter about 1 cm was found. Histopathological examination revealed an immature female dirofilarial worm reminiscent of Dirofilaria repens, characterized by prominent sharp longitudinal ridges at external surface of the cuticle. Analysis of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequence showed that the worm belongs to Candidatus Dirofilaria hongkongensis. It is likely that some infections previously reported as D. repens based on histological examination may have actually been due to Candidatus D. hongkongensis.
Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, is one of the most devastating citrus diseases worldwide. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) is the most prevalent strain associated with HLB, which is yet to be cultured in vitro. None of the commercial citrus cultivars are resistant to HLB. The pathosystem of Ca. Liberibacter is complex and remains a mystery. In this review, we focus on the recent progress in genomic research on the pathogen, the interaction of host and CLas, and the influence of CLas infection on the transcripts, proteins, and metabolism of the host. We have also focused on the identification of candidate genes for CLas pathogenicity or the improvements of HLB tolerance in citrus. In the end, we propose potentially promising areas for mechanistic studies of CLas pathogenicity, defense regulators, and genetic improvement for HLB tolerance/resistance in the future.