Guidelines for mosquito microbiome research
In the past decade there has been increasing interest in mosquito microbiome research, leading to large amounts of data on different mosquito species, with various underlying physiological characteristics, and from diverse geographical locations. However, guidelines and standardized methods for conducting mosquito microbiome research are lacking. We have launched this collaborative initiative for the advancement of mosquito microbiome research, with an initial focus on streamlining methods in mosquito microbiome research, optimizing data quality, reproducibility, and comparability, as well as facilitating data curation in a centralized location. In our inaugural paper, we highlight the issues we view as most pressing to the community and propose guidelines for conducting mosquito microbiome research. The paper focuses on four broad areas (1) sampling/experimental design for field, semi-field or laboratory studies, (2) metadata collection (3) sample processing, sequencing, and use of appropriate controls, and (4) data handling and analysis. We finally summarize current challenges and highlight future directions in mosquito microbiome research. We hope that this will spark discussions around this area of disease vector biology, as well as encourage careful considerations in the design and implementation of mosquito microbiome research.