The recent introduction of Zika virus (ZIKV) into the Americas and the occurrence of birth defects associated with infection during pregnancy have created a concern about the spread of this virus into more northern countries in the Americas. Therefore, we examined several species of mosquitoes found in southern Manitoba, Canada, for their susceptibility to infection and their ability to transmit ZIKV. Aedes cinereus, Ae. euedes, Ae. fitchii, Ae. sticticus, Ae. vexans, Coquillettidia perturbans, Culex restuans, and Cx. tarsalis were captured in the vicinity of Winnipeg, Manitoba; brought to the laboratory; and allowed to feed on a ZIKV–sheep blood suspension to determine oral susceptibility. In addition, some of the nonfed individuals were inoculated intrathoracically to examine for the presence of a salivary gland barrier. Despite ingesting blood containing 105.4 plaque-forming units/ml, infection rates were very low, and infected individuals were only detected for Ae. vexans. Transmission was observed for Ae. vexans, Cq. perturbans, and Cx. restuans that had been inoculated with ZIKV, although rates were low. Based on the extremely low vector competence found in this study and the lack of a preferential feeding on humans, it is unlikely than any of the mosquito species tested in this study would be involved in any large-scale transmission of ZIKV in Canada.
artificial blood meal