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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Nov;89(5):1023-8. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0160. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Field detection of Tembusu virus in western Thailand by rt-PCR and vector competence determination of select culex mosquitoes for transmission of the virus.

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Virology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Frederick, Maryland; Department of Entomology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand.


Tembusu virus (TMUV; Ntaya serocomplex) was detected in two pools of mosquitoes captured near Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, as well as from sera from sentinel ducks from the same area. Although TMUV has been isolated from several mosquito species in Asia, no studies have ever shown competent vectors for this virus. Therefore, we allowed mosquitoes captured near Sangkhlaburi to feed on young chickens that had been infected with TMUV. These mosquitoes were tested approximately 2 weeks later to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. Culex vishnui developed high viral titers after feeding on TMUV-infected chicks and readily transmitted virus to naïve chickens. In contrast, Cx. fuscocephala seemed less susceptible to infection, and more importantly, zero of five fuscocephala with a disseminated infection transmitted virus by bite, indicating a salivary gland barrier. These results provide evidence for the involvement of Culex mosquitoes in the transmission of TMUV in the environment.

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