Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2004) 18, 398-407

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J.T. Paweska and G.J. Venter (2004)
Vector competence of Culicoides species and the seroprevalence of homologous neutralizing antibody in horses for six serotypes of equine encephalosis virus (EEV) in South Africa
Medical and Veterinary Entomology 18 (4), 398-407
Abstract: Field-collected Culicoides species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were fed on horse blood-virus mixtures containing one of the six serotypes of equine encephalosis virus (EEV1 to EEV6). The virus mean titres in the bloodmeals varied between 6.1 and 7.0 log10TCID50/mL. Of 19 Culicoides species assayed after 10 days extrinsic incubation at 23.5°C, five yielded the challenge virus, namely Culicoides (Avaritia) imicola Kieffer (EEV1-6), C. (A.) bolitinos Meiswinkel (EEV1, 2, 4, 6), C. (Meijerehelea) leucostictus Kiefer (EEV1, 2), C. (Culicoides) magnus Colaço (EEV1) and C. (Hoffmania) zuluensis de Meillon (EEV2). Virus recovery rates ranged from 0.5 to 13%. The mean levels of viral replication differed between serotypes and Culicoides species and ranged from 1.0 to 2.3 log10TCID50/midge. Culicoides midges shown in this study to be susceptible to oral infection with EEV are widely distributed in South Africa but differ considerably in their abundance, host preference and breeding sites. Of 1456 horses tested, 1144 (77%) had antibody to EEV. Homologous virus-neutralizing antibodies to all six serotypes were detected in individual horses from all eight geographical provinces of South Africa. The distribution, prevalence, and the rate of exposure to individual serotypes varied significantly between regions. The potential for vectoring of EEV in the field by several Culicoides species with unique ecologies and lack of cross-protection to re-infection with multiple serotypes highlights some of the mechanisms that are likely to play a role in the virus' natural maintenance cycle and the highly efficient level of countrywide transmission amongst South African horses.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Janusz T. Paweska, Gert J. Venter

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Culicoides imicola South Africa
Culicoides bolitinos South Africa
Culicoides magnus South Africa
Culicoides leucostictus South Africa
Culicoides zuluensis South Africa