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1 November 2008 Host-Feeding Patterns of Potential Mosquito Vectors in Connecticut, USA: Molecular Analysis of Bloodmeals from 23 Species of Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, Coquillettidia, Psorophora, and Uranotaenia
Goudarz Molaei, Theodore G. Andreadis, Philip M. Armstrong, Maria Diuk-Wasser
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Abstract

We evaluated the blood-feeding patterns in several mosquito species that may serve as vectors of disease agents in the northeastern United States. Blood-fed mosquitoes were collected from 91 different sites throughout Connecticut over a 6-yr period (June–October 2002–2007), and the host-feeding patterns of 23 mosquito species representing six genera were examined by using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay and sequencing portions of the cytochrome b gene of mitochondrial DNA. This study was part of a statewide surveillance program and for some of the mosquito species a limited number of specimens were examined [e.g., Aedes communis (De Geer) (1), Anopheles barberi Coquillett (1), Uranotaenia sapphirina (Osten Sacken) (5)]. With the exception of Culex territans Walker that acquired bloodmeals from all four classes of vertebrates—birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals—all species of Aedes, Anopheles, Coquillettidia, Psorophora, and to a lesser degree, Uranotaenia, were found to feed predominately upon mammalian hosts. Fourteen mammalian species were identified as sources of blood, but the majority of feedings were taken from the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. Human-derived bloodmeals were identified from 13 of the 23 mosquito species. Limited avian-derived bloodmeals were detected in Aedes canadensis (Theobald), Aedes cantator (Coquillett), Aedes cinereus Meigen, Aedes triseriatus (Coquillett), Aedes trivittatus (Coquillett), Coquillettidia perturbans (Walker) Cx. territans, Psorophora ferox (von Humboldt), and Ur. sapphirina. American robin, Turdus migratorius, was the most common source of avian blood, followed by a few other mostly Passeriformes birds. We conclude that the white-tailed deer serve as the main vertebrate host for these mammalophilic mosquitoes in this region of the United States. This feeding pattern supports enzootic amplification of arboviruses, including Jamestown Canyon, Cache Valley, and Potosi viruses that perpetuate in cervid hosts. Occasional feeding on avian hosts suggests that some of these mosquito species, such as Cq. perturbans, also could facilitate transmission of West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses from viremic birds to mammalian hosts.

Goudarz Molaei, Theodore G. Andreadis, Philip M. Armstrong, and Maria Diuk-Wasser "Host-Feeding Patterns of Potential Mosquito Vectors in Connecticut, USA: Molecular Analysis of Bloodmeals from 23 Species of Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, Coquillettidia, Psorophora, and Uranotaenia," Journal of Medical Entomology 45(6), 1143-1151, (1 November 2008). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-2585(2008)45[1143:HPOPMV]2.0.CO;2
Received: 24 January 2008; Accepted: 25 July 2008; Published: 1 November 2008
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KEYWORDS
arboviruses
Blood-feeding behavior
cytochrome b
mosquitoes
vector
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