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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: VECTOR COMPETENCE AND PROTECTION OF U.S. LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE FROM ARTHROPOD-BORNE DISEASES Title: Laboratory Infection of Culicoides Sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) with Weldona Virus

Authors
item Reeves, Will
item Miller, Myrna

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2009
Publication Date: November 20, 2009
Citation: Reeves, W.K., Miller, M.M. 2009. Laboratory Infection of Culicoides Sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) with Weldona Virus. Journal of Entomological Science. Vol. 44; 412-414.

Interpretive Summary: Weldona virus was discovered in 1990, in biting midges from Weldona, Colorado. The midges were not identified. We fed Weldona virus to a biting midge, Culicoides sonorensis, in the laboratory and tested midges for infection by the virus after 8-12 days post blood feeding. Weldona virus persisted in the bodies of midges. We then used molecular techniques to amplify a portion of the viral genome and constructed a phylogeny of Weldona virus and other related viruses. Finally, we tested sera from 95 sheep from a bluetongue outbreak for antibodies against Weldona virus. At least 8 of 95 sheep had neutralizing antibodies against Weldona virus.

Technical Abstract: Weldona virus was originally isolated in 1990, from a pool of unidentified Ceratopogonidae collected near Weldona, Colorado. The ceratopogonids were probably Culicoides spp. but the natural insect vector of this virus remains unknown. We fed Weldona virus to Culicoides sonorensis Wirth and Jones in the laboratory and tested midges for virus dissemination and persistence, 8-12 days post blood feeding. Weldona virus persisted in the bodies of midges but dissemination was not detected. In addition, we used molecular techniques to amplify a portion of a glycoprotein gene and constructed a phylogeny of Weldona virus and other Orthobunyavirus based on this gene. Livestock have not been serologically screened for exposure to Weldona virus. We used serum neutralization to screen sheep 95 sheep from a bluetongue outbreak for antibodies against Weldona virus. At least 8 of 95 sheep had neutralizing antibodies against Weldona virus.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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