Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2007
Publication Date: 2/5/2008
Citation: Bennett, K.E., Stuart, M.A., Hopper, J.E., West, M.S., Drolet, B.S. 2008. Blood Feeding Behavior of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Infected Culicoides Sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Meeting Abstract. West Central Mosquito and Vector Control Association meeting. Estes Park, CO; Feb. 6-7, 2008. Interpretive Summary: Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is the primary vector of Bluetongue virus in North America and has been shown to be a competent vector of Vesicular Stomatitis virus (VSV). To determine whether infection with VSV affects blood feeding, midges were injected with VSV or virus free cell lysate and held two, three, or four days before being offered a non-infectious blood meal. Midges that were inoculated with VSV had significantly lower blood feeding rates at two days post inoculation, but not at three or four days. A virus growth curve reveals that this reduction in feeding correlates to peak virus titer in the insect.
Technical Abstract: Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is the primary vector of Bluetongue virus in North America and a competent vector of Vesicular Stomatitis virus (VSV). Little is known about how viral infection of this midge affects blood feeding behavior and how this might affect virus transmission. Midges were injected with VSV or virus-free cell lysate and held two, three, or four days. To determine affects of infection on feeding, midges were offered a non-infectious blood meal for a short (10 minutes) or long period (60 minutes). Virus injected midges had significantly lower blood feeding rates compared to uninfected controls when fed two days post inoculation. Feeding rates on days three and four post inoculation were not different from controls. Significantly more midges fed when allowed 60 rather than 10 minutes to feed, and this was not affected by infection status. A virus growth curve for VSV injected midges was determined by assaying inoculated midges over time with peak virus titers at two days post inoculation, correlating to the time point that had the most significant decrease in midge feeding. This suggests that VSV infection in C. sonorensis may have a negative affect on subsequent blood feeding at the peak of viral infection.