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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » ABADRU » Research » Research Project #433119

Research Project: Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Disease vectors

Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research

Project Number: 3020-32000-018-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2017
End Date: Sep 14, 2022

The objective of this research is (1) to conduct insect monitoring of likely vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) positive premises such as horse farms, dairies, and key river systems and (2) to test vector control strategies on farms to reduce livestock-insect contact. Vesicular stomatitis virus is transmitted by biting midges, black flies, and sand flies in the United States and fluctuations in insect populations is likely a key trigger to VSV transmission. Four years of insect monitoring on four dairies and horse farms, along with key river areas will associate insect populations with biotic and abiotic environmental conditions and seasonal events allowing for future predictions of entomological risk to areas.

Colorado State will monitor insect populations at eight farms (four dairies and four horse farms) for five years with baited Centers for Disease Control light traps. Culicoides (biting midges), simulids (black flies), and if possible phlebotomine flies (sand flies) will be targeted for population monitoring on the farms. The farms will be selected based historical VSV cases. The monthly averages of two consecutive days of trapping will be used to calculate the local insect population, which will be correlated to environmental conditions. Additional trapping, as possible, will be conducted along river basins with the same collection protocol. Insect populations will be analyzed using next generation sequencing to look for (1) VSV infection and (2) population genetics to see migration between farms and the river samples. During the last year, insect population reduction measures will be installed on two dairies and two horse farms to test for efficacy of insect interventions.