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PeerJ. 2018 Feb 15;6:e4324. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4324. eCollection 2018.

Vector competence of selected North American Anopheles and Culex mosquitoes for Zika virus.

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The Department of Entomology, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a vector-borne flavivirus that has caused recent outbreaks associated with serious disease in infants and newborns in the Americas. Aedes mosquitoes are the primary vectors for ZIKV, but little is known about the diversity of mosquitoes that can transmit ZIKV in North America. We chose three abundant North American mosquito species (Anopheles freeborni, Anopheles quadrimaculatus, and Culex tarsalis) and one known vector species (Aedes aegypti), fed them blood meals supplemented with a recent outbreak ZIKV strain, and tested bodies, legs, and saliva for infectious ZIKV. ZIKV was able to infect, disseminate, and be transmitted by Aedes aegypti. However, Anopheles freeborni, Anopheles quadrimaculatus, and Culex tarsalis were unable to be infected. We conclude that these species are unlikely to be involved in ZIKV transmission in North America. However, we should continue to examine the ability for other mosquito species to potentially act as ZIKV vectors in North America.


Arbovirus; Dissemination; Infection; Transmission; Vector competence; Vector-borne

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