Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Novel Research Efforts to Prevent West Nile Virus Transmission and Control Spread of Infected Mosquitoes Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2005
Publication Date: February 9, 2005
Citation: Linthicum, K., Allan, S.A., Barnard, D.R., Becnel, J.J., Bernier, U.R., Carlson, D.A., Hogsette Jr, J.A., Kline, D.L., Shuman, D. Novel research efforts to prevent west nile virus transmission and control spread of infected mosquitoes. 2005 National Conference on West Nile Virus in the United States, February 8-9, 2005; San Jose, California; pg. 13. Technical Abstract: The Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE), US Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service conducts specific research directed at reducing or eliminating the harm caused by mosquitoes to humans and animals. CMAVE is an internationally renowned research institution. Located on the campus of the University of Florida, the Center has more than 200 personnel, including nearly 50 doctoral level scientists working in state-of-the-art laboratories and field sites throughout the United States and internationally. Research is directed not only at the mosquitoes themselves but at pathogens they may transmit and at identifying inherent protective mechanisms in nature. The Center has five research units, and the Mosquito and Fly Research Unit specifically targets mosquitoes for control and prevention of West Nile virus (WNV). Although each unit has specific goals, there are several commonalities. CMAVE work emphasizes both control and prevention. Effective prevention depends on developing rapid, sensitive methods for detection and surveillance. Second, all our research includes a basic component, because historically the best methods of protection come from understanding how things work at the molecular level. Third, CMAVE work emphasizes biological and integrated pest management techniques that put less pressure on the environment and may be self-sustaining. A new baculovirus and 2 new cytoplasmic polyhedrosis viruses with mosquito control potential have been discovered and are being characterized. The longevity of various permethrin formulations impregnated onto US Marine Corps battle dress uniforms was evaluated to provide more effective personal protection for deployed troops, and this information will be used in the civilian community to design better personal protective garments to provide protection from mosquitoes infected with WNV. In collaboration with the Department of Transportation air curtains were used successfully to prevent mosquitoes from passing from a simulated jetway into a simulated aircraft, potentially leading to the development of new strategies to prevent the movement of WNV infected mosquitoes by commercial aviation. Commercially available traps and novel traps are being evaluated to control mosquito populations, and novel strategies to limit mosquitoes and WNV are being developed. Novel attractant chemicals and new volatiles from blood are being evaluated for the use in mosquito traps to improve WNV surveillance activities. All CMAVE scientists strive to be both sensitive to the needs of the citizens of the United States and committed to transferring their discoveries to field as rapidly as possible. Biologically-based alternative controls, personal protection tools and new materials and methods for surveillance that fit into integrated pest abatement systems to control and prevent WNV are being developed.