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Parasit Vectors. 2019 Apr 11;12(1):166. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3432-9.

Update on the biology and ecology of Culicoides species in the South-West region of Cameroon with implications on the transmission of Mansonella perstans.

Author information

1
Parasite and Vector Biology Research Unit (PAVBRU), Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon. swanji@yahoo.fr.
2
Research Foundation for Tropical Diseases and the Environment (REFOTDE), P.O. Box 474, Buea, Cameroon. swanji@yahoo.fr.
3
Parasite and Vector Biology Research Unit (PAVBRU), Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon.
4
Research Foundation for Tropical Diseases and the Environment (REFOTDE), P.O. Box 474, Buea, Cameroon.
5
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Kumasi, Ghana.
6
Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (IMMIP), University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
7
German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site, Bonn-Cologne, Bonn, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Culicoides (Diptera; Ceratoponidae) are tiny, stout, blood-sucking flies with a near worldwide distribution. When present, they are often considered a biting nuisance but in addition, they are involved in the transmission of pathogens to humans, domestic and wild animals. Data on Culicoides species in the South-West region of Cameroon dates back to the 1950s. Over the decades, ecological transformation due to agriculture and deforestation may have affected the population dynamics of Culicoides and therefore our study provides an update of their bio-ecology in the region. Furthermore, the role of various Culicoides species in the transmission of parasitic filariae of the genus Mansonella remains inconclusive in this region. This study was designed to address these unknown issues and expand on current scientific knowledge.

RESULTS:

Eight species of Culicoides (C. bedfordi, C. inornatipennis, C. fulvithorax, C. grahamii, C. imicola, C. milnei, C. neavei and C. kumbaensis) were collected using light traps and human baits. Culicoides grahamii was the most abundant species, followed closely by C. milnei. Three species (C. milnei, C. grahamii and C. inornatipennis) were common in all observed larval development sites. Only four species (C. inornatipennis, C. fulvithorax, C. grahamii and C. milnei) were collected on humans. Anthropophilic species were more abundant (P < 0.001) in the evening (4-7 pm) when compared to the morning collections (6-9 am). After overnight fly collections using a drop trap with a human microfilaremic donor, C. milnei emerged as the potential host for transmitting Mansonella perstans. Substantial heterogeneity was observed between the trap visiting cycles of the various species (P < 0.001). The biting cycle of the main vector, C. milnei, showed two peaks (10-11 pm and 4-5 am), the highest being 10-11 pm.

CONCLUSIONS:

The Culicoides fauna of the South-West region of Cameroon has not changed significantly since the 1950s. Culicoides milnei was demonstrated to be the major vector of M. perstans in this part of Cameroon. It is essentially a nocturnal species which peaks in abundance between 10 and 11 pm.

KEYWORDS:

Biting preferences; Breeding sites; Culicoides milnei; Culicoides species; Mansonella perstans; Relative abundance

PMID:
30975194
DOI:
10.1186/s13071-019-3432-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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