To evaluate the vectorial capacity of mosquitoes for viruses in Japan, the host-feeding habits of the mosquitoes were analyzed by sequencing polymerase chain reaction-amplified fragments of the cytochrome b and 16S ribosomal RNA regions of the mitochondrial DNA of 516 mosquitoes of 15 species from seven genera that were collected from residential areas during 2003–2006. Culex pipiens L. and Aedes albopictus Skuse were the most commonly collected species in urban and suburban residential areas. Anautogenous Culex pipiens pallens Coquillett was distinguished from the autogenous Cx. pipiens form molestus Forskal using a polymerase chain reaction-based identification method. Both Cx. p. pollens and Cx. p. form molestus exhibited similar host-feeding habits, broadly preferring avian (50.0 and 42.5% of avian, respectively) and mammalian (38.6 and 45.0% of avian, respectively) hosts, such as tree sparrows, ducks, and humans. Conversely, Ae. albopictus exhibited a highly mammalophilic and anthropophilic feeding pattern, with 84.2% feeding on mammalian hosts and 68.5% of these on humans. We concluded that in Japan, Cx. pipiens might play a significant role in the avian-to-mammal transmission of viruses, such as West Nile virus, whereas Ae. albopictus might play a role in the human-human transmission of dengue and Chikungunya viruses.
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