F Rosa Rubicondior: Malevolent Designer News - Mosquitoes Protected by Bacteria

Friday 15 January 2021

Malevolent Designer News - Mosquitoes Protected by Bacteria

Mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus
Bacteria carried by mosquitoes may protect them against pesticides

For believers in intelligent [sic] design, it's beginning to look like their putative designer has a special fondness for its chosen vector for infecting humans and other animals with harmful parasites, as it now seems to have come up with a novel way of defending them against human attempts to control their numbers and protect ourselves from them and their parasitic payloads.

These examples of how any designer of these natural horrors would be malevolent in the extreme just keep turning up, as I showed in my illustrated book, The Malevolent Designer: Why Nature's God is not Good.

Now researchers from Reading University, UK and National University of San Juan, Argentina, have found that mosquitoes infected with the common Wolbachia bacteria may be better able to withstand man-made pesticides.

Wolbachia is a genus of bacteria which are common parasites on insects and other arthropods. In some species they have formed a symbiotic relationship with species such as the tsetse fly actually being dependent on them for breeding. Bacteria are commonly used as a biological control of mosquitoes but, the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus seems to have formed a symbiotic relationship with a native Argentinian species, Wolbachia pipientis, which gives them protection against three of the bacterial species commonly used. This species of mosquito is responsible for the transmission of several diseases. As the press release from Reading University explains:
[Culex quinquefasciatus] is one of the most widespread species in countries with hotter climates. The mosquito species transmits several diseases, a wide range of viruses such as the West Nile Virus (WNV), the San Luis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV) and the Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus, and in addition a variety of parasites (filarial worms) in Central and South America, Africa and Asia.

The team found that the mosquito larvae naturally infected by an Argentinian native strain of Wolbachia were less susceptible to three bacterial pesticides (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, Bacillus wiedmannii biovar thuringiensis, and Lysinibacillus sphaericus), two of which are commercially available and used in many countries to control mosquito populations.
The team's findings were published open access in Scientific Reports recently:


In an attempt to evaluate the susceptibility of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus to bacterial agents, a population naturally infected with a Wolbachia pipientis wPipSJ native strain was tested against the action of three bacterial mosquitocides, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Bacillus wiedmannii biovar thuringiensis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus. Tests were carried out on mosquito larvae with and without Wolbachia (controls). Cx. quinquefasciatus naturally infected with the native wPipSJ strain proved to be more resistant to the pathogenic action of the three mosquitocidal bacterial strains. Additionally, wPipSJ was fully characterised using metagenome-assembled genomics, PCR–RFLP (PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) and MLST (MultiLocus Sequence Typing) analyses. This Wolbachia strain wPipSJ belongs to haplotype I, group wPip-III and supergroup B, clustering with other mosquito wPip strains, such as wPip PEL, wPip JHB, wPip Mol, and wAlbB; showing the southernmost distribution in America. The cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype of this strain was revealed via crosses between wildtype (Wolbachia+) and antibiotic treated mosquito populations. The results of the tests with the bacterial agents suggest that Cx. quinquefasciatus naturally infected with wPipSJ is less susceptible to the pathogenic action of mosquitocidal bacterial strains when compared with the antibiotic-treated mosquito isoline, and is more susceptible to B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis than to the other two mosquitocidal agents.

What intelligent [sic] design creationists need to explain, here, as with so many of these measures their putative designer seems to have come up with to ensure his designs do what they appear to have been intended to do - make us sick and in particular make children die of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever - is still regarded by them as one and the same as the supposedly omnibenevolent Christian god of the Bible.

I have been waiting since what seems to be forever for a creationist, who rejects evolution, to explain why evolution by a mindless, unplanned, amoral natural process, is the only explanation for these natural nasties that doesn't leave their putative designer looking like an sane person's definition of a malevolent, genocidal, misanthropic, pestilential sadist who hates its creation. I asked that in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 vurus currently killing tens of thousands of people a dayand making hundreds of thousands sick and got a stony, embarrassed silence.

I'll probably be waiting for some considerable time yet.

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