A3: Epithet Epitaph

Wolbachia are Gram-negative obligate parasitic bacteria found in nearly 60 percent of all insect species, including the common house fly and certain species of mosquitoes. They most notably infect the reproductive organs; the testes and ovaries of arthropods, insects and mosquitoes. Infection with the bacterial parasite can create infertility and or sterilization in mosquitoes and flies. Infection in females increases the rate of infected offspring, transmitted to female offspring only, increasing the spread of Wolbachia.  However, infection has also been proven to provided resistance to certain pathogens, such as the ones responsible for Zika virus and West Nile virus. Studies have been proposed and implemented using Wolbachia infected mosquitos as a vector control species to combat the spread of serious viral infections carried by mosquitos.

Wolbachia was identified by Marshall Hertig and Simeon Burt Wolbach in 1924 in infected mosquitos. Dr. Wolbach was an American pathologist and  researcher who was born in rural Nebraska. He received his MD degree from Harvard Medical School in 1903, after he travelled the world conducting research, he is credited with identifying the organism that caused the typhus epidemic of Europe in 1920.


Simeon Burt Wolbach. Wikipedia. 08 May. 2018

Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simeon_Burt_Wolbach

Wolbachia. Wikipedia. 06 Dec. 2018

Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolbachia

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