Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2003
Publication Date: 6/30/2003
Citation: BECNEL, J.J., WHITE, S.E., SHAPIRO, A.M. CULEX NIGRIPALPUS NUCLEOPOLYHEDROVIRUS (CUNINPV) INFECTIONS IN ADULT MOSQUITOES AND POSSIBLE MECHANISMS FOR DISPERSAL. JOURNAL OF INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY. 2003. v.83.p.181-183. Interpretive Summary: A virus that kills mosquitoes has been discovered by ARS scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville Florida. Mosquito species susceptible to this virus are important vectors of St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus in the United States. The virus kills larval mosquitoes quickly and is active for extended periods; we have also discovered that adult mosquitoes can be infected with the virus and they can spread it from one site to another. This knowledge contributes to our basic understanding of mosquito viruses and will enable the evaluation and development of these pathogens as biopesticides for the control of mosquitoes that vector diseases of humans and animals.
Technical Abstract: This report documents the first evidence for baculovirus infections (termed CuniNPV) in adult mosquitoes of Culex nigripalpus and Culex quinquefasciatus . These mosquito species are important vectors of St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus in the United States. Infections were restricted to nuclei of midgut epithelial cells and the meconium. Based on these results, male and female mosquito adults could play a role in the spread of CuniNPV to new aquatic habitats by voiding the meconium containing infectious OBs into the aquatic environment or by death of infected adults. Vertical transmission may also serve to spread CuniNPV and possibly occurs by contamination of eggs during oviposition with frass containing infectious OBs. This finding represents a major advancement in our understanding of the transmission of baculoviruses in mosquitoes and allows further characterization of the virus. In addition, they can explain, in great part, conditions that support dispersal in natural populations of mosquitoes that vector life-threatening diseases of man and animals.