Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 9, 2009
Publication Date: February 26, 2009
Citation: Bennett, K.E., Hopper, J.E., Stuart, M.A., West, M.S., Drolet, B.S. Effects of Viral Infection on Blood-Feeding Behavior in Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is the primary vector of bluetongue virus (BTV) in North America and a competent vector of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Little is known about how viral infection of this midge affects its blood feeding behavior. Midges were intrathoracically inoculated with BTV, VSV, or virus-free cell lysate and blood-feeding success was measured at 2, 3, and 4 days post inoculation (dpi) for a study of VSV and at 2, 4, and 7 dpi for a study of BTV. Viral growth curves were determined for each virus, and blood meal dpi were selected to include the normal optimal blood feeding time point (2 dpi) and peak virus titer in the insects. To determine effects of infection on feeding, midges were offered a non-infectious artificial blood meal for a short (10 minutes) or long period (60 minutes) and proportions of fed midges were compared using a generalized linear mixed model. The potential consequences of altered blood feeding behavior on virus transmission and epidemiology are discussed.