Studies on overwintering of bluetongue viruses in insects. (17/150)

Bluetongue viruses (BTVs) are economically important arboviruses that affect sheep and cattle. The overwintering mechanism of BTVs in temperate climates has eluded researchers for many years. Many arboviruses overwinter in their invertebrate vectors. To test the hypothesis that BTVs overwinter in their vertically infected insect vectors, Culicoides sonorensis larvae were collected from long-term study sites in northern Colorado, USA, and assayed for the presence of BTV RNA by nested RT-PCR. Sequences from BTV RNA segment 7 were detected in 30 % (17/56) of pools composed of larvae and pupae collected in 1998 and in 10 % (31/319) of pools composed of adults reared from larvae collected in 1996. BTV was not isolated from the insects. Additionally, Culicoides cell-culture lines derived from material collected at one of the sites, or derived from insect samples collected during a BTV outbreak, contained BTV RNA segment 7. In contrast, segment 2 RNA was detected at half the rate of segment 7 RNA in the field-collected larvae and was only detected in the Culicoides cell lines with one of two primer sets. These data suggest that BTVs could overwinter in the insect vector and that there is reduced expression of the outer capsid genes during persistent infection.  (+info)

A new Culicoides (Diptera:Ceratopogonidae) of the subgenus Diphaomyia from Peru. (18/150)

A new species of Culicoides of the subgenus Diphaomyia, Culicoides jurbergi Felippe-Bauer, is described and illustrated based on female specimens collected biting man and with light traps in Peruvian Amazonia. The species is compared with its similar congener mirsae Ortiz.  (+info)

The bloodsucking biting midges of Argentina (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). (19/150)

A key is presented for the identification of the adults of 54 species of bloodsucking ceratopogonids, 51 of which are known inhabitants of Argentina, and Culicoides uruguayensis Ronderos, C. pifanoi Ortiz, and C. trilineatus Fox, which are known to occur in bordering Uruguay and Paraguay. Wing photographs are provided of females of the 45 species of Culicoides. Three new species of Culicoides Latreille from Northeastern Argentina are described and illustrated: C. austroparaensis Spinelli, C. bachmanni Spinelli, and C. williamsi Spinelli. The following six species are recorded for the first time from Argentina and/or bordering localities in Paraguay: Leptoconops brasiliensis (Lutz), C. gabaldoni Ortiz, C. ginesi Ortiz, C. pifanoi Ortiz, C. pseudocrescentis Tavares and Luna Dias, and C. trilineatus; and C. estevezae Ronderos and Spinelli is newly recorded from Misiones province of Argentina. C. lopesi Barretto is excluded from the Argentinean ceratopogonid fauna.  (+info)

Habitat complexity and sex-dependent predation of mosquito larvae in containers. (20/150)

Studies in aquatic systems have shown that habitat complexity may provide refuge or reduce the number of encounters prey have with actively searching predators. For ambush predators, habitat complexity may enhance or have no effect on predation rates because it conceals predators, reduces prey detection by predators, or visually impairs both predators and prey. We investigated the effects of habitat complexity and predation by the ambush predators Toxorhynchites rutilus and Corethrella appendiculata on their mosquito prey Aedes albopictus and Ochlerotatus triseriatus in container analogs of treeholes. As in other ambush predator-prey systems, habitat complexity did not alter the effects of T. rutilus or C. appendiculata whose presence decreased prey survivorship, shortened development time, and increased adult size compared to treatments where predators were absent. Faster growth and larger size were due to predator-mediated release from competition among surviving prey. Male and female prey survivorship were similar in the absence of predators, however when predators were present, survivorship of both prey species was skewed in favor of males. We conclude that habitat complexity is relatively unimportant in shaping predator-prey interactions in this treehole community, where predation risk differs between prey sexes.  (+info)

Biting of anthropophilic Culicoides fulvithorax (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), a vector of Mansonella perstans in Nigeria. (21/150)

Anthropophilic Culicoides were investigated in a rural community endemic for Mansonella perstans in Ijebu North area of western Nigeria between December 2003 and October 2004. Three hundred and fifty-nine adults of Culicoides fulvithorax collected by human bait in the morning were dissected for Mansonella perstans larvae, and 1.95% of infection rate was found. Seasonal abundance of C. fulvithorax was investigated by monthly biting rates, and showed that higher prevalence was observed in rainy season, with peak in September. Culicoides prevalence was positively correlated with rainfall and relative humidity, but not temperature. Human perceptions on the behavior of these biting midges were determined by interviewing 854 self-selected villagers, of which 86.5% of the interviewees confessed having experienced Culicoides bites. Between 76.5 and 99.1% of the various age groups complained body reactions to Culicoides bites. Itching was the most frequent body reaction. No interviewees associated Culicoides with transmission of any parasitic infections. The results showed need to adequately control Culicoides in the community.  (+info)

Bluetongue in the Sultanate of Oman, a preliminary epidemiological study. (22/150)

A group specific agar-gel immunodiffusion test was used to demonstrate that there is a frequent and widespread distribution of bluetongue virus throughout the Sultanate of Oman. The Culicoides midges C. imicola and C. schultzei, both capable of transmitting bluetongue group viruses, were recorded throughout the year. Although these studies did not establish that bluetongue is enzootic in Oman, type-specific neutralizing antibody results supported previous evidence for the existence of a Saudi Arabian bluetongue ecosystem. Variations in antibody evidence of virus activity within a restricted locality suggested a hot-spot theory concerning the perpetuation of the virus.  (+info)

Possible introduction of epizootic hemorrhagic disease of deer virus (serotype 2) and bluetongue virus (serotype 11) into British Columbia in 1987 and 1988 by infected Culicoides carried on the wind. (23/150)

Outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease of deer and of bluetongue began in British Columbia in August and October 1987 respectively and recrudescence of infection by both viruses was detected the following year in August. Weather records for up to 18 days before the initial outbreaks of disease, isolation of virus or seroconversion were examined to determine if the viruses could have been introduced by infected Culicoides carried on the wind. Data on temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction and pressure together with backward trajectory analysis showed that there were suitable winds which could have introduced Culicoides infected with epizootic hemorrhagic disease of deer virus on 13 August 1987 (14 days before disease was observed), Culicoides infected with bluetongue virus on 1 October 1987 (7 days before virus was isolated and 13 days before disease in sheep) and Culicoides infected with bluetongue or epizootic hemorrhagic disease of deer viruses on 20 July 1988 (15 days before seroconversion was detected). The arrival on 13 August 1987 coincided with the passage of a cold front and rain and that on 1 October 1987 with a fall in temperature and calm winds. The source of the Culicoides before arrival could have been the Okanogan Valley as far south as the junction of the Okanogan and Columbia rivers in Washington, USA. Flight would have been at temperatures of 12.6 degrees C or higher and at heights up to 1.5 km.  (+info)

Salivary gland extracts of Culicoides sonorensis inhibit murine lymphocyte proliferation and no production by macrophages. (24/150)

Culicoides biting midges serve as vectors of pathogens affecting humans and domestic animals. Culicoides sonorensis is a vector of several arboviruses in North American that cause substantial economic losses to the US livestock industry. Previous studies showed that C. sonorensis saliva, like the saliva of many hematophagous arthropods, contains numerous pharmacological agents that affect hemostasis and early events in the inflammatory response, which may enhance the infectivity of Culicoides-borne pathogens. This paper reports on the immunomodulatory properties of C. sonorensis salivary gland extracts on murine immune cells and discusses the possible immunomodulatory role of C. sonorensis saliva in vesicular stomatitis virus infection of vertebrate hosts. Splenocytes treated with C. sonorensis mitogens were significantly affected in their proliferative response, and peritoneal macrophages secreted significantly less NO. A 66-kDa glycoprotein was purified from C. sonorensis salivary gland extract, which may be in part responsible for these observations and may be considered as a vaccine candidate.  (+info)