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Host-feeding patterns of Aedes (Aedimorphus) vexans arabiensis, a Rift Valley Fever virus vector in the Ferlo pastoral ecosystem of Senegal

Biteye B., Fall A.G., Seck M.T., Ciss M., Diop M., Gimonneau G.. 2019. PloS One, 14 (10) : 12 p..

Background: Host-vector contact is a key factor in vectorial capacity assessment and thus the transmission of mosquito-borne viruses such as Rift Valley Fever (RVF), an emerging zoonotic disease of interest in West Africa. The knowledge of the host-feeding patterns of vector species constitutes a key element in the assessment of their epidemiological importance in a given environment. The aim of this work was to identify the blood meal origins of the mosquito Aedes vexans arabiensis, the main vector of RVF virus in the Ferlo pastoral ecosystem of Senegal. Methodology/principal findings: Engorged female mosquitoes were collected in Younoufe´re´ in the pastoral ecosystem in the Ferlo region during the 2014 rainy season. CO2-baited CDC light traps were set at six points for two consecutive nights every month from July to November. Domestic animals present around traps were identified and counted for each trapping session. Blood meal sources of engorged mosquitoes were identified using a vertebrate-specific multiplexed primer set based on cytochrome b. Blood meal sources were successfully identified for 319 out of 416 blood-fed females (76.68%), of which 163 (51.1%) were single meals, 146 (45.77%) mixed meals from two different hosts and 10 (3.13%) mixed meals from three different hosts. Aedes vexans arabiensis fed preferentially on mammals especially on horse compared to other hosts (FR = 46.83). Proportions of single and mixed meals showed significant temporal and spatial variations according to the availability of the hosts. Conclusion: Aedes vexans arabiensis shows an opportunistic feeding behavior depending on the host availability. This species fed preferentially on mammals especially on horses (primary hosts) and ruminants (secondary hosts).

Thématique : Maladies des animaux; Organismes nuisibles des animaux

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