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Laboratory transmission potential of British mosquitoes for equine arboviruses

Chapman, Gail E., Sherlock, Ken, Hesson, Jenny C., Blagrove, Marcus, Lycett, Gareth ORCID:, Archer, Debra, Solomon, Tom and Baylis, Matthew (2020) 'Laboratory transmission potential of British mosquitoes for equine arboviruses'. Parasites & Vectors, Vol 13, Issue 413.

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Background: There has been no evidence of transmission of mosquito-borne arboviruses of equine or human health
concern to date in the UK. However, in recent years there have been a number of outbreaks of viral diseases spread by
vectors in Europe. These events, in conjunction with increasing rates of globalisation and climate change, have led to
concern over the future risk of mosquito-borne viral disease outbreaks in northern Europe and have highlighted the
importance of being prepared for potential disease outbreaks. Here we assess several UK mosquito species for their
potential to transmit arboviruses important for both equine and human health, as measured by the presence of viral
RNA in saliva at diferent time points after taking an infective blood meal.
Results: The following wild-caught British mosquitoes were evaluated for their potential as vectors of zoonotic
equine arboviruses: Ochlerotatus detritus for Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and Ross River virus (RRV),
and Culiseta annulata and Culex pipiens for Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). Production of RNA in saliva was demonstrated at varying efciencies for all mosquito-virus pairs. Ochlerotatus detritus was more permissive for production
of RRV RNA in saliva than VEEV RNA. For RRV, 27.3% of mosquitoes expectorated viral RNA at 7 days post-infection
when incubated at 21 °C and 50% at 24 °C. Strikingly, 72% of Cx. pipiens produced JEV RNA in saliva after 21 days at 18
°C. For some mosquito-virus pairs, infection and salivary RNA titres reduced over time, suggesting unstable infection
Conclusions: This study adds to the number of Palaearctic mosquito species that demonstrate expectoration of viral
RNA, for arboviruses of importance to human and equine health. This work adds to evidence that native mosquito
species should be investigated further for their potential to vector zoonotic mosquito-borne arboviral disease of
equines in northern Europe. The evidence that Cx. pipiens is potentially an efcient laboratory vector of JEV at temperatures as low as 18 °C warrants further investigation, as this mosquito is abundant in cooler regions of Europe and
is considered an important vector for West Nile Virus, which has a comparable transmission ecology

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Viruses > QW 160 Viruses (General). Virology
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Infectious Mononucleosis. Arbovirus Infections > WC 524 Arbovirus infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. Other Virus Diseases > WC 542 Arbovirus encephalitis. Equine encephalomyelitis (in humans)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Samantha Sheldrake
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2020 15:14
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2020 15:14


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