Highlight Activities 2021: Novel supergroup U Wolbachia in bat mites of Thailand

Wolbachia is an endosymbiont infecting mostly arthropods and is vertically transmitted to its host offspring; however, Wolbachia in mites has rarely been reported.  We have discovered, for the first time, Wolbachia endosymbiont in Spinturnix  mite  infesting  thick-thumbed  myotis  bat  (Myotis  rosseti)  in  Thailand. Wolbachia spp were detected in Spinturnix spp by PCR employing species-specific 16S  rDNA  and ftsZ primers. Consensus sequences were then used to construct phylogenetic trees, which indicated Spinturnix mite Wolbachia spp belonged to a clade separate from existing species, which we named Wolbachia Supergroup U. The role of Wolbachia spp in Spinturnix mites remains to be determined.


Olanratmanee P, Baimai V, Ahantarig A, Trinachartvanit W. Novel supergroup U Wolbachia in bat mites of Thailand. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2021; 52: 48–55.