Vector Potential of Selected North American Mosquito Species for Rift Valley Fever Virus

Thomas P. Gargan IIDepartment of Arboviral Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701

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Gary G. ClarkDepartment of Arboviral Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701

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David J. DohmDepartment of Arboviral Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701

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Michael J. TurellDepartment of Arboviral Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701

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Charles L. BaileyDepartment of Arboviral Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701

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Selected North American mosquito species were evaluated as potential vectors of Rift Valley fever virus. Field populations of Aedes canadensis, Ae. cantator, Ae. excrucians, Ae. sollicitans, Ae. taeniorhynchus, Ae. triseriatus, Anopheles bradleyi-crucians, Culex salinarius, Cx. tarsalis, and Cx. territans perorally exposed to 106.2–107.2 plaque forming units of Rift Valley fever virus readily became infected. Infection rates ranged from 51% (65/127) for Cx. salinarius to 96% (64/67) for Ae. canadensis. Disseminated infection rates were generally greater at 14 days than at 7 days after the infectious bloodmeal, and, with the exception of An. bradleyi-crucians, they were not significantly different than the pooled rate of 59% for each species tested. Only 5/55 (9%) of the An. bradleyi-crucians developed a disseminated infection. For most of the species, about half of the mosquitoes with a disseminated infection transmitted an infectious dose of virus to hamsters. While all species, with the exception of An. bradleyi-crucians, transmitted virus, Ae. canadensis, Ae. taeniorhynchus, and Cx. tarsalis had the highest vector potential of the species tested. Following inoculation of approximately 101.6 plaque forming units of virus, 100% of the mosquitoes of each species became infected. For most species, transmission rates were similar for inoculated individuals and those that developed a disseminated infection following peroral infection. Viral titers of transmitting and nontransmitting-disseminated individuals were similar for all species tested. These data suggest that, if Rift Valley fever virus was introduced into North America, several mosquito species would be capable of transmitting it.

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