Volume 83, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Vector competence, the probability that a vector will transmit a pathogen after feeding on an infected host, is known to vary among vector species, populations, days since feeding, and temperature during the extrinsic incubation period. However, the extent of spatio-temporal variability and consistency in vector competence of populations is not known. We examined vector competence of Linnaeus and Theobald mosquitoes for West Nile virus collected over 3 years from 17 sites to measure spatial and temporal scales of variation in vector competence. We found extreme variation with 0–52% of mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus at a single site between different sampling periods, and similar variation across populations. However, we also found that within a smaller geographic range, vector competence varied somewhat synchronously, suggesting that environmental and population genetic factors might influence vector competence. These results highlight the spatio-temporal variability in vector competence and the role of local processes.


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  • Received : 03 Jan 2010
  • Accepted : 15 May 2010
  • Published online : 07 Sep 2010

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