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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #290142

Title: Potential for mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from Florida to transmit Rift Valley fever virus

item TURELL, MICHAEL - Department Of Defense
item Gibson, Seth
item Aldridge, Robert
item Kline, Daniel - Dan
item BOOHENE, CARL - Polk County Mosquito Control
item Linthicum, Kenneth - Ken

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/2013
Publication Date: 9/1/2013
Citation: Turell, M.J., Britch, S.C., Aldridge, R.L., Kline, D.L., Boohene, C., Linthicum, K. 2013. Potential for mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from Florida to transmit Rift Valley fever virus. Journal of Medical Entomology. 50(5):1111-1117.

Interpretive Summary: Rift Valley fever virus is a serious mosquito transmitted human and animal disease that has the potential to expand its range from Africa and the Middle East to the U.S. To better prepare Public Health and Agricultural agencies to prevent or control an introduction of the disease into the U.S. we studied the ability of 8 species of mosquitoes collected in Florida to become infected with and transmit Rift Valley fever. Five of these species of mosquitoes were found to be reasonably good vectors of the virus in these studies. Additional studies are needed in other geographic areas to evaluate the same and different species of mosquitoes.

Technical Abstract: We evaluated Aedes atlanticus Dyar and Knab, Aedes infirmatus Dyar and Knab, Aedes vexans (Meigen), Anopheles crucians Wiedemann, Coquillettidia perturbans (Walker), Culex nigripalpus Theobald, Mansonia dyari Belkin, Heinemann, and Page, and Psorophora ferox (Von Humboldt) from Florida to determine which of these species should be targeted for control should Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) be detected in North America. Female mosquitoes that had fed on adult hamsters inoculated with RVFV were incubated for 7-21 days at 26oC, then allowed to refeed on susceptible hamsters, and tested to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. We also inoculated mosquitoes intrathoracically, held them for 7 days, and then allowed them to feed on a susceptible hamster to check for a salivary gland barrier. When exposed to hamsters with viremias >107.6 plaque-forming units/mL of blood, at least some individuals in each of the species tested became infected; however, Cx. nigripalpus, An. crucians, and Ae. infirmatus, were essentially incompetent vectors in the laboratory due to either a midgut escape or salivary gland barrier. Each of the other species should be considered as potential vectors and would need to be controlled if RVFV were introduced into an area where they were found. Additional studies need to be conducted with other geographic populations of these species and to determine how environmental factors affect transmission.