Volume 77, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The vertebrate hosts of 672 blood-engorged Say, collected in Harris County, Texas, during 2005, were identified by nucleotide sequencing PCR products of the gene. Analysis revealed that 39.1% had acquired blood from birds, 52.5% from mammals, and 8.3% were mixed avian and mammalian blood meals. Most frequent vertebrate hosts were dog (41.0%), mourning dove (18.3%), domestic cat (8.8%), white-winged dove (4.3%), house sparrow (3.2%), house finch (3.0%), gray catbird (3.0%), and American robin (2.5%). Results are interpreted in conjunction with concurrent avian and mosquito West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance activities in Harris County. We conclude that is an opportunistic feeder and principal mosquito vector of WNV in this metropolitan area; however, transmission by other mosquito species or by other modes of infection, such as ingestion, must account for the high WNV infection rates among local blue jays and American crows.


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  • Received : 05 Feb 2007
  • Accepted : 01 Apr 2007

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