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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Aug;81(2):264-72.

Environmental and biological factors influencing Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) vector competence for Saint Louis encephalitis virus.

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Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, Vero Beach, Florida 32962, USA.


Complex interactions between environmental and biological factors influence the susceptibility of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus to St. Louis encephalitis virus and could affect the epidemiology of virus transmission. Similar interactions could have epidemiologic implications for other vector-virus systems. We conducted an experiment to examine four such factors in combination: mosquito age, extrinsic incubation temperature (EIT), virus dose, and colony. The proportion of mosquitoes with body infections or disseminated infections varied between colonies, and was dependant on age, EIT, and dose. We also show that the probability of a body or leg infection interacted in complex ways between colonies, ages, EITs, and doses. The complex interactive effects of environmental and biological factors must be taken into account for studies of vector competence and epidemiology, especially when laboratory studies are used to generalize to natural transmission dynamics where the extent of variation is largely unknown.

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