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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » ABADRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #405062

Research Project: Biology and Management of Dipteran Pests of Livestock and Other Animals

Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research

Title: Arbovirus modification of midge behavior and considerations for vector surveillance and management

item Nayduch, Dana

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are important biological vectors of arboviruses such as bluetongue virus (BTV), epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), resulting in significant economic losses worldwide. Previous studies have shown that during the course of dissemination to the salivary glands, these viruses highly infect ommatidia, cerebral ganglia (brain), and other sensory tissues in the midge. Our group has shown that many genes associated with vision, memory, and other behaviors were downregulated in midges infected with EHDV. We surmised that infection of the brain and ommatidia might lead to a phenotype of visual impairment and changes in light-seeking behavior. In subsequent studies we tested the visual performances and light-seeking preferences of midges that were infected arboviruses. Female Culicoides sonorensis were infected with either BTV, VSV, or control (PBS) via microinjection, and at 6 days post-injection were placed in the center of a circular aerial bioassay arena with LEDs (ultraviolet (350-400 nm), blue (400-500 nm), and green light (500-570 nm)) mounted to collection cups along the periphery. Midges were exposed for 12 h and spectral preferences were determined by counting midges in the cups and elsewhere in the arena. Taken together, these studies will give insight into the effects of arbovirus infection on midge visual performance which will improve our ability to trap and survey infected midge populations in the field.