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Assessment of the host/vector contact for Palaearctic Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Implications for Orbivirus transmission

Viennet E., Balenghien T., Allene X., Rakotoarivony I., Crochet D., Delecolle J.C., Lancelot R., Moulia C., Baldet T., Garros C.. 2012. In : E-sove 2012 : from biology to integrated control in a changing world. Abstract book. Montpellier : European Society for Vector Ecology, p. 25-25. Conférence E-SOVE. 18, 2012-10-08/2012-10-11, Montpellier (France).

Bluetongue virus (BTV) (Reoviridae: Orbivirus) is a good example of emerging arbovirus in Europe, with a little understanding of the disease epidemiology. This virus is transmitted by blood-sucking midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to wild and domestic ruminants. In Europe, BT had been considered as an exotic disease until recently. In 1998, several BT incursions were observed in the western Mediterranean Basin in line with the northward progression of C. imicola populations, the main afrotropical vector. From August 2006, the emergence and transmission of BT serotype 8 in northern Europe, in areas where C. imicola was absent, revealed the importance of autochthonous Culicoides species and the urgent need to understand their vector role. The emergence and massive spread of bluetongue virus in western Europe during 2006-2008 had disastrous consequences for sheep and cattle production and confirmed the ability of Palaearctic Culicoides to transmit the virus. Despite the importance of understanding Culicoides biology to implement adequate vector control measures, especially host-seeking and feeding behaviours, it remains insufficiently described due to the difficulty of collecting them directly on a bait animal, the most reliable method to evaluate biting rates and host/vector contact. During a three-year work, we aimed at (i) comparing typical animal-baited traps (drop trap and direct aspiration) to both a new sticky cover trap and a UV-light/suction trap (the most commonly used method to collect Culicoides) (Viennet et al 2011), (ii) describing host preferences of Palaearctic Culicoides species of veterinary interest (Viennet et al in press) and (iii) describing endo/exophagy and circadian hostseeking activity of Palaearctic Culicoides species (Viennet et al submitted). This work gives new insights into the understanding of BTV transmission in northern Europe by assessing different methods to study the biting rate and highlighting trends in host-seeking behaviour for Culicoides of veterinary interest. (Texte intégral)

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