The Significance of Western Equine Encephalomyelitis Viral Infections in Aedes Trivittatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Iowa

I. Variation in Susceptibility of Aedes trivittatus to Experimental Infection with Three Strains of Western Equine Encephalomyelitis Virus

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  • Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, University Hygienic Laboratory, University of Iowa, Ames, Iowa 50011
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F1 progeny obtained from field-collected Aedes trivittatus were evaluated for susceptibility to infection with western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) virus by intrathoracic inoculation and by oral imbibition of virus-blood suspensions through a membrane. Mosquitoes were uniformly susceptible to infection by intrathoracic inoculation of three strains of WEE virus, but minimum infective doses varied as much as 2,000 to 12,000-fold between strains by membrane feeding. Dose-response data obtained by membrane feeding also indicated that field strains of A. trivittatus were quite heterogeneous in their susceptibility to WEE virus since some individual mosquitoes could be infected by ingestion of low virus concentrations while others could not be infected by a 20,000-fold increase in virus concentration. Moreover, A. trivittatus showed a greater affinity for a WEE viral strain isolated from this species than for a WEE viral strain isolated from Culex tarsalis, even though the site, date of collection, and passage history of these isolates were identical. Field strains of A. trivittatus were relatively refractory to oral infection with WEE virus.

Author Notes

Present address: School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720.

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