The objective of the present study was to assess if Acrobeloides buetschlii, an opportunistic species common across many soils, can be employed as a suitable model for interactions between free-living soil nematodes and enteric human pathogens. Acrobeloides buetschlii was exposed to mCherry-tagged Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli O157:H7 and its vector potential was assessed. Salmonella cells were more readily ingested by the nematodes compared to E. coli O157:H7. Adult nematodes ingested more bacteria compared to juveniles. Salmonella survived internally for at least 7 days without affecting the viability of nematodes. Bacterial ingestion by A. buetschlii did not vary for three tested Salmonella serovars but was significantly lower for E. coli O157:H7. Considering the ubiquitous nature of pathogen and vector, these findings suggest that A. buetschlii can serve as a relevant model for studying nematode-Salmonella interactions in an agricultural setting and as potential transport for food-borne pathogens from soil to crops.
Bark beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) have a significant economic impact on forest stands and agricultural settings in Israel. We focus on nematodes associated with bark beetles collected from different host plants attacked by Scolytinae. The sampling was conducted in forest plantations and fruit tree orchards in several areas in Israel. A total of 430 beetle specimens of eight species were examined for the presence of nematodes. Fifteen nematode species were detected and identified based on molecular and morphological characteristics. Among the examined scolytids, the pine bark beetle, Orthotomicus erosus, the most widely distributed and frequently occurring species in Israel, was accompanied by the highest nematode diversity, with 11 species recovered. Nematode associations with the almond bark beetle (Scolytus amygdali), the olive bark beetle (Phloeotribus scarabaeoides) and the fig bark beetle (Hypoborus ficus) were recorded for the first time. Our study thus supplies novel information on scolytid-associated nematodes in Israel.