Attempts were made to isolate virus from wild caught mosquitoes during the 1977 and 1978 Rift Valley fever (RVF) epizootics in Egypt. Over 95% of the 55,126 mosquitoes collected from epizootic areas in the Nile Delta and Valley were Culex pipiens. Two strains of RVF virus were isolated from unengorged female C. pipiens taken in 1978. Laboratory-reared C. pipiens originating from a population sample from the Nile Delta epizootic area transmitted RVF virus. The infection rate of mosquitoes that fed on viremic hamsters was 86.7%; the transmission rate was 40.0% (46.2% based only on infected mosquitoes). From these results, it is suggested that C. pipiens was a vector of RVF virus during the 1977–1978 epizootics in Egypt.
Present address: Yale Arbovirus Research Unit, 60 College Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.