2012 Annual Report
More than 8,000 potential Rift Valley Fever (RVF) vector mosquitoes, representing 13 species have been trapped in the field in central Florida in high numbers in areas with significant human and domestic animal populations. Specimens were processed in the field, and sorted, tentatively identified and prepared, packaged and shipped from the laboratory to maintain viability to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Ft. Detrick, Maryland for RVF virus (RVFV) vector competence testing. Approximately 70% of the specimens collected represent populations of species that occurred in significant numbers during the North American winter. This is highly significant since the northern hemisphere winter is the typical time of year when Rift Valley outbreaks occur in much of sub-Saharan Africa. A novel collection cage was designed, developed and deployed in the trapping to minimize trauma to the mosquito specimens. The collection cage permitted trapping and processing of specimens in the field to remove dead mosquitoes without damaging viable specimens. This same trap was eventually shipped to USAMRIID where mosquitoes could be exposed to RVFV infected hamsters without further manipulation of specimens, enhancing survival and longevity required to fully assess vector competence. The 13 mosquito species collected and shipped: include Mansonia dyari, Aedes infirmatus, Aedes vexans, Culex nigripalpus, Anopheles crucians, Culex erraticus, Psorophora columbiae, Psorophora ferox, Cx. quinquefasciatus, Psorophora ciliata, Uranotaenia lowii, Uranotaenia sapphrina, and Coquillettidia perturbans.
This report is based upon meetings, site visits, email communications, telephone calls and progress reports.