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      Vector Competence of California Mosquitoes for West Nile virus

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          Abstract

          To identify the mosquito species competent for West Nile virus (WNV) transmission, we evaluated 10 California species that are known vectors of other arboviruses or major pests: Culex tarsalis, Cx. pipiens pipiens, Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, Cx. stigmatosoma, Cx. erythrothorax, Ochlerotatus dorsalis, Oc. melanimon, Oc. sierrensis, Aedes vexans, and Culiseta inornata. All 10 became infected and were able to transmit WNV at some level. Ochlerotatus, Culiseta, and Aedes were low to moderately efficient vectors. They feed primarily on mammals and could play a secondary role in transmission. Oc. sierrensis, a major pest species, and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from southern California were the least efficient laboratory vectors. Cx. tarsalis, Cx. stigmatosoma, Cx. erythrothorax, and other populations of Cx. pipiens complex were the most efficient laboratory vectors. Culex species are likely to play the primary role in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of WNV in California.

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          Most cited references 33

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          West Nile fever--a reemerging mosquito-borne viral disease in Europe.

           Z Hubalek,  J Halouzka (1999)
          West Nile virus causes sporadic cases and outbreaks of human and equine disease in Europe (western Mediterranean and southern Russia in 1962-64, Belarus and Ukraine in the 1970s and 1980s, Romania in 1996-97, Czechland in 1997, and Italy in 1998). Environmental factors, including human activities, that enhance population densities of vector mosquitoes (heavy rains followed by floods, irrigation, higher than usual temperature, or formation of ecologic niches that enable mass breeding of mosquitoes) could increase the incidence of West Nile fever.
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            Vector competence of North American mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for West Nile virus.

            We evaluated the potential for several North American mosquito species to transmit the newly introduced West Nile (WN) virus. Mosquitoes collected in the New York City metropolitan area during the recent WN virus outbreak, at the Assateague Island Wildlife Refuge, VA, or from established colonies were allowed to feed on chickens infected with WN virus isolated from a crow that died during the 1999 outbreak. These mosquitoes were tested approximately 2 wk later to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes atropalpus (Coquillett), and Aedes japonicus (Theobald) were highly susceptible to infection, and nearly all individuals with a disseminated infection transmitted virus by bite. Culex pipiens L. and Aedes sollicitans (Walker) were moderately susceptible. In contrast, Aedes vexans (Meigen), Aedes aegypti (L.), and Aedes taeniorhynchus (Wiedemann) were relatively refractory to infection, but individual mosquitoes inoculated with WN virus did transmit virus by bite. Infected female Cx. pipiens transmitted WN virus to one of 1,618 F1 progeny, indicating the potential for vertical transmission of this virus. In addition to laboratory vector competence, host-feeding preferences, relative abundance, and season of activity also determine the role that these species could play in transmitting WN virus.
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              Vector competence of selected North American Culex and Coquillettidia mosquitoes for West Nile virus.

              To control West Nile virus (WNV), it is necessary to know which mosquitoes are able to transmit this virus. Therefore, we evaluated the WNV vector potential of several North American mosquito species. Culex restuans and Cx. salinarius, two species from which WNV was isolated in New York in 2000, were efficient laboratory vectors. Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. nigripalpus from Florida were competent but only moderately efficient vectors. Coquillettidia perturbans was an inefficient laboratory vector. As WNV extends its range, exposure of additional mosquito species may alter its epidemiology.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Emerg Infect Dis
                Emerging Infect. Dis
                EID
                Emerging Infectious Diseases
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                1080-6040
                1080-6059
                December 2002
                : 8
                : 12
                : 1385-1391
                Affiliations
                [* ]University of California, Davis, California, USA
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Laura B. Goddard; Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA; fax: 530-752-1537; e-mail: lgoddard@ 123456ucdavis.edu
                Article
                02-0536
                10.3201/eid0812.020536
                2738502
                12498652
                Categories
                Research

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

                culex, west nile virus, mosquito, vector competence

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