Scott L. O'Neill

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Wolbachia are maternally inherited intracellular bacterial symbionts that are estimated to infect more than 60% of all insect species. While Wolbachia is commonly found in many mosquitoes it is absent from the species that are considered to be of major importance for the transmission of human pathogens. The successful introduction of a life-shortening(More)
Most pathogens require a relatively long period of development in their mosquito vector before they can be transmitted to a new human host; hence, only older insects are of epidemiological importance. The successful transfer of a life-shortening strain of the inherited bacterial symbiont, Wolbachia, into the major mosquito vector of dengue, Aedes aegypti,(More)
Genetic manipulations of insect populations for pest control have been advocated for some time, but there are few cases where manipulated individuals have been released in the field and no cases where they have successfully invaded target populations. Population transformation using the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia is particularly attractive because(More)
Bacterial endosymbionts of insects have long been implicated in the phenomenon of cytoplasmic incompatibility, in which certain crosses between symbiont-infected individuals lead to embryonic death or sex ratio distortion. The taxonomic position of these bacteria has, however, not been known with any certainty. Similarly, the relatedness of the bacteria(More)
The complete sequence of the 1,267,782 bp genome of Wolbachia pipientis wMel, an obligate intracellular bacteria of Drosophila melanogaster, has been determined. Wolbachia, which are found in a variety of invertebrate species, are of great interest due to their diverse interactions with different hosts, which range from many forms of reproductive parasitism(More)
Dengue fever is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease of humans with more than 50 million cases estimated annually in more than 100 countries. Disturbingly, the geographic range of dengue is currently expanding and the severity of outbreaks is increasing. Control options for dengue are very limited and currently focus on reducing population(More)
Wolbachia pipientis bacteria are common endosymbionts of insects that are best known for their ability to increase their prevalence in populations by manipulating host reproductive systems. However, there are examples of Wolbachia that exist in nature that seem to induce no reproductive parasitism trait and yet are able to invade populations. We demonstrate(More)
Drosophila C virus (DCV) is a natural pathogen of Drosophila and a useful model for studying antiviral defences. The Drosophila host is also commonly infected with the widespread endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia pipientis. When DCV coinfects Wolbachia-infected D. melanogaster, virus particles accumulate more slowly and virus induced mortality is(More)
The obligate intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis strain wPip induces cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), patterns of crossing sterility, in the Culex pipiens group of mosquitoes. The complete sequence is presented of the 1.48-Mbp genome of wPip which encodes 1386 coding sequences (CDSs), representing the first genome sequence of a B-supergroup(More)
The factors that control replication rate of the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis in its insect hosts are unknown and difficult to explore, given the complex interaction of symbiont and host genotypes. Using a strain of Wolbachia that is known to over-replicate and shorten the lifespan of its Drosophila melanogaster host, we have tracked the(More)