Wolbachia spp. are common intracellular parasites in insects and an essential bacterial endosymbiont of a number of filarial nematodes including those that cause:
- Lymphatic filariasis
There is increasing evidence that many of the human symptoms of filarial infection may be due to bacteria inflammatory responses including lymphoedema and onchocercal ocular disease. Indeed antibiotics such as doxycycline and rifampin active against Wolbachiae have proved very effective in filarial infections, except loiasis, as Loa loa does not need bacterial endosymbionts. Wolbachia are also found in some insects and there is good evidence that Wolbachia spp. cause host reproductive manipulation which has been studied in Culex pipiens as the sterility has obvious implications. Indeed it has been postulated that the targetted use of strains of Wolbachia pipientis that shorten the life span of insect hosts such as Aedes aegypti might be effective in biological control of insect transmitted zoonosis. This includes dengue fever  where it seems other mechanisms such as the bacteria directly inhibiting viral replication in the mosquito may be important.
- ↑ Keiser PB, Coulibaly Y, Kubofcik J, Diallo AA, Klion AD, Traoré SF, Nutman TB. Molecular identification of Wolbachia from the filarial nematode Mansonella perstans. Molecular and biochemical parasitology. 2008 Aug; 160(2):123-8.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
- ↑ Kambris Z, Cook PE, Phuc HK, Sinkins SP. Immune activation by life-shortening Wolbachia and reduced filarial competence in mosquitoes. Science (New York, N.Y.). 2009 Oct 2; 326(5949):134-6.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
- ↑ Hoffmann AA, Montgomery BL, Popovici J, Iturbe-Ormaetxe I, Johnson PH, Muzzi F, Greenfield M, Durkan M, Leong YS, Dong Y, Cook H, Axford J, Callahan AG, Kenny N, Omodei C, McGraw EA, Ryan PA, Ritchie SA, Turelli M, O'Neill SL. Successful establishment of Wolbachia in Aedes populations to suppress dengue transmission. Nature. 2011 Aug 25; 476(7361):454-7.(Epub) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)
- ↑ Walker T, Johnson PH, Moreira LA, Iturbe-Ormaetxe I, Frentiu FD, McMeniman CJ, Leong YS, Dong Y, Axford J, Kriesner P, Lloyd AL, Ritchie SA, O'Neill SL, Hoffmann AA. The wMel Wolbachia strain blocks dengue and invades caged Aedes aegypti populations. Nature. 2011 Aug 25; 476(7361):450-3.(Epub) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)