Very recently, the Asian malaria vector (Anopheles stephensi) was stably transinfected with the wAlbB strain of Wolbachia, inducing refractoriness to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. However, conditions in the field can differ substantially from those in the laboratory. We use the rodent malaria P. yoelii, and somatically transinfected An. stephensi as a model system to investigate whether the transmission blocking potential of wAlbB is likely to be robust across different thermal environments. wAlbB reduced malaria parasite prevalence and oocyst intensity at 28 C. At 24 C there was no effect on prevalence but a marked increase in oocyst intensity. At 20 C, wAlbB had no effect on prevalence or intensity. Additionally, we identified a novel effect of wAlbB that resulted in reduced sporozoite development across temperatures, counterbalancing the oocyst enhancement at 24 C. Our results demonstrate complex effects of temperature on the Wolbachia-malaria interaction, and suggest the impacts of transinfection might vary across diverse environments.
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