Potential for New York mosquitoes to transmit West Nile virus.

M J TurellVirology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5011, USA.

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M O'GuinnVirology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5011, USA.

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J OliverVirology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5011, USA.

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We evaluated the potential for several North American mosquito species to transmit the newly introduced West Nile (WN) virus. Mosquitoes collected in the New York City Metropolitan Area during the recent (1999) WN outbreak were allowed to feed on chickens infected with WN virus isolated from a crow that had died during this outbreak. These mosquitoes were tested approximately 2 weeks later to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. Culex pipiens mosquitoes were highly susceptible to infection, and nearly all individuals with a disseminated infection did transmit WN virus by bite. In contrast, Aedes vexans were only moderately susceptible to oral infection; however, those individuals inoculated with WN virus did transmit virus by bite.

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