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HP8 Emerging Agents, Detection, and Emergency Response
(623) Vectors and hosts of West Nile virus in the Texas Panhandle.
Presley, S1, Nascarella, M1, Pepper, C1, Cox, S1, 1 The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
ABSTRACT- West Nile virus (WN) very rapidly spread across the continental United States since first detected in the New York City area in August 1999, and appears to have become effectively established throughout the eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast states. Since first detection of WN virus in the Panhandle of Texas during the late summer of 2002, surveillance efforts to determine the primary mosquito vector species and vertebrate host species associated with the arbovirus have been underway. Potential mosquito vectors were collected using CO2-baited EVS light traps and CDC gravid traps. More than 1,700 female mosquitoes were collected, representing seven genera with Culex tarsalis and Ochleratatus solicitans being the predominant species. Adult female mosquitoes were pooled by species and screened for WN virus using the VecTestTM antigen panel assay. During 2002 two pools of Cx tarsalis and one pool of Aedes vexans tested positive for WN virus by the VecTestTM assay. Surveillance in 2003 includes mosquito, bird and rodent specimen collection and screening for WN virus antigen, with positive specimens confirmed using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction protocols.
Key words: arboviruses, West Nile virus, vector species, incidental hosts
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