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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Population Genetics of Insect Disease Vectors: Culicoides Variipennis and Bluetongue Epidemiology.

item Tabachnick, Walter
item Holbrook, Frederick - USDA-ARS-ABADRL

Submitted to: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Genetic variation in arthropod vector species is a major feature governing arthropod-borne disease epidemiology. Factors influencing vector genetic variation influences variability controlling vector capacity for disease causing pathogens. This is illustrated by the insect vector of the bluetongue (BLU) viruses in North America, Culicoides variipennis. These viruses cause the disease bluetongue in cattle and other livestock. The presence of the BLU viruses in the U. S. has resulted in non- tariff trade barriers on U. S. livestock to BLU-free countries with losses in trade of ca. $125 million. A study of genetic variation in U. S. vector populations showed that only certain populations are likely to contribute to BLU epidemiology in the U.S. Analyses showed that C. v. sonorensis is in U. S. BLU endemic regions in the southwest and is absent from BLU-free areas of the northeast U. S. There is migration between populations to allow the spread of the virus. The absence of adult C. variipennis during cold winters influences the genetic diversity in the species. Studies of C. variipennis illustrate that population genetics adds to understanding epidemiology and for developing new disease control strategies.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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