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Host preferences and circadian rhythm of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), vectors of African horse sickness and bluetongue viruses in Senegal

Fall M., Fall A.G., Seck M.T., Bouyer J., Diarra M., Lancelot R., Gimonneau G., Garros C., Bakhoum M.T., Faye O., Baldet T., Balenghien T.. 2015. Acta Tropica, 149 : p. 239-245.

DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.06.012

African horse sickness- and bluetongue virus are orbiviruses transmitted by Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to horses and to ruminants, respectively. Since the last epizootic outbreak of African horse sickness in 2007 in Senegal, extensive investigations have been undertaken to improve our knowledge on Culicoides species involved locally in the transmission of the virus. The purpose of this study was to compare and quantify the host preferences of potential vectors of these orbiviruses on horse and sheep and to study their circadian rhythm. We found that Culicoides oxystoma and species of the sub-genus Avaritia (Culicoides imicola, Culicoides bolitinos and Culicoides pseudopallidipennis) had a preference for horse when compared to sheep (the predicted ratio between horse and sheep was 80 for C. oxystoma and 26 for C. imicola), and were mostly crepuscular: C. oxystoma had continuous activity throughout the diel with peaks in numbers collected after sunrise and sunset, while C. imicola was mostly nocturnal with peak after sunset. Unexpectedly, species of the subgenus Lasiohelea was also collected during this study. This diurnal biting species was a nuisance pest for both animal species used as bait.

Mots-clés : ovin; equidae; culicoides; culicoides oxystoma; transmission des maladies; vecteur de maladie; orbivirus; virus peste équine africaine; virus bluetongue; rythme circadien; préférence alimentaire; biologie animale; comportement animal; relation hôte pathogène; fièvre catarrhale du mouton; peste équine africaine; sénégal; culicoides imicola; culicoides bolitinos; culicoides pseudopallidipennis

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