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1 January 2012 Evaluating Sampling Method Bias in Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Bloodmeal Identification Studies
Tara C. Thiemann, William K. Reisen
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Determining the bloodmeal hosts of the Culex vectors of encephalitis viruses such as West Nile virus is essential for understanding the role of these mosquitoes in enzootic and epidemic transmission. Although molecular techniques have increased our knowledge of blood feeding patterns by allowing host identification to the species level, few studies have focused on the role that sampling methods may play in determining these patterns. In the current study, we identified 644 bloodmeals from Culex tarsalis Coquillett and Culex quinquefasciatus Say females collected in CO2 traps (dry ice-baited Center for Disease Control traps), in gravid traps, and aspirated from resting sites. There was no significant difference in the bloodmeal host apportionment in sampling methods such as gravid traps and resting collections that collected fully engorged females. However, CO2 traps that collected partially fed females had a significantly different apportionment of hosts than either gravid or resting collections. Bloodied females from CO2 traps had either fed on only a small subset of available host species or were biased toward more mammalian and fewer nonpasserine avian feeds than females from other collections. Because both full and partial bloodmeals can contribute to viral transmission, obtaining Culex bloodmeal collections from multiple sampling methods may be important to fully interpret the role of these mosquitoes as maintenance and/or bridge vectors.

© 2012 Entomological Society of America
Tara C. Thiemann and William K. Reisen "Evaluating Sampling Method Bias in Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Bloodmeal Identification Studies," Journal of Medical Entomology 49(1), 143-149, (1 January 2012).
Received: 30 June 2011; Accepted: 1 October 2011; Published: 1 January 2012

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mosquito collection
sampling bias
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