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Horse-, bird-, and human-seeking behavior and seasonal abundance of mosquitoes in a West Nile virus focus of southern France.

Abstract : After 35 yr of disease absence, West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) circulation has been regularly detected in the Camargue region (southern France) since 2000. WNV was isolated from Culex modestus Ficalbi, which was considered the main vector in southern France after horse outbreaks in the 1960s. Recent WNV transmissions outside of the Cx. modestus distribution suggested the existence of other vectors. To study potential WNV vectors, horse- and bird-baited traps and human landing collections of mosquitoes were carried out weekly from May to October 2004 at two Camargue sites: one site in a wet area and the other site in a dry area, both chosen for their past history of WNV transmission. At the wet site, the most abundant species in bird-baited traps were Culex pipiens L. and Cx. modestus; both species also were found in lower proportions on horses and humans. The most abundant species in horse-baited traps and human landing collections were Aedes caspius (Pallas), Aedes vexans (Meigen), and Anopheles hyrcanus (Pallas) sensu lato; some of these species were occasionally collected with avian blood at the end of the summer. Anopheles maculipennis Meigen sensu lato was an abundant horse feeder, but it was rarely collected landing on human bait and never contained avian blood. At the dry site, Cx. pipiens was the most abundant species in bird- and horse-baited traps. The seasonal and circadian dynamics of these species are analyzed, and their potential in WNV transmission in Camargue discussed.
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T. Balenghien, F. Fouque, Philippe Sabatier, D. Bicout. Horse-, bird-, and human-seeking behavior and seasonal abundance of mosquitoes in a West Nile virus focus of southern France.. Journal of Medical Entomology, Entomological Society of America, 2006, 43 (5), pp.936-46. ⟨10.1093/jmedent/43.5.936⟩. ⟨pasteur-00308950⟩

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