Wolbachia is the most widespread genus of endosymbiotic bacteria in the animal world, infecting a diverse range of arthropods and nematodes. A broad spectrum of associations from parasitism to mutualism occur, with a tendency to drive reproductive manipulation or influence host fecundity to spread infection through host populations. These varied effects of Wolbachia are exploited for public health benefits. Notably, the protection of insect hosts from viruses is being tested as a potential control strategy for human arboviruses, and the mutualistic relationship with filarial nematodes makes Wolbachia a target for antibiotic therapy of human and veterinary nematode diseases.
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