Field-captured Aedes vexans (Meigen, 1830) is a competent vector for Rift Valley fever phlebovirus in Europe
Núñez, Ana I.
Background: Aedes vexans (Meigen) is considered a nuisance species in central Europe and the Mediterranean region. It is an anthropophilic and mammalophilic foodwater mosquito involved in the transmission of several arboviruses. Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a relevant mosquito-borne zoonosis, afecting mainly humans and ruminants, that causes severe impact in public health and economic loses. Due to globalization and climate change, the European continent is threatened by its introduction. The main purpose of the present study was to evaluate the vector competence of a European feld-collected Ae. vexans population. Methods: Aedes vexans feld-collected larvae were reared in the laboratory under feld-simulated conditions. To assess the vector competence for Rift Valley fever phlebovirus (RVFV) transmission, adult F0 females were exposed to infectious blood meals containing the 56/74 RVFV strain. Additionally, intrathoracic inoculations with the same virus strain were performed to evaluate the relevance of the salivary gland barriers. Natural circulation of alphavirus, favivirus and phlebovirus was also tested. Results: To our knowledge, an autochthonous Ae. vexans population was experimentally confrmed as a competent vector for RVFV for the frst time. This virus was capable of infecting and disseminating within the studied Ae. vexans mosquitoes. Moreover, infectious virus was isolated from the saliva of disseminated specimens, showing their capacity to transmit the virus. Additionally, a natural infection with a circulating Mosquito favivirus was detected. The co-infection with the Mosquito favivirus seemed to modulate RVFV infection susceptibility in feld-collected Ae. vexans, but further studies are needed to confrm its potential interference in RVFV transmission. Conclusions: Our results show that feld-collected European Ae. vexans would be able to transmit RVFV in case of introduction into the continent. This should be taken into consideration in the design of surveillance and control programmes.
619 - Veterinària
Is part of
Parasites & Vectors
Birnberg, Lotty, Sandra Talavera, Carles Aranda, Ana I. Núñez, Sebastian Napp, and Núria Busquets. 2019. "Field-Captured Aedes Vexans (Meigen, 1830) Is A Competent Vector For Rift Valley Fever Phlebovirus In Europe". Parasites & Vectors 12 (1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1186/s13071-019-3728-9.
Grant agreement number
MINECO/Programa Estatal de fomento de la investigación científica y técnica de excelencia/AGL2013-47257-P/ES/Emergencia de la fiebre del valle del Rift en Europa: evaluación del rol de mosquitos autóctonos en la potencial diseminación de la enfermedad/
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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