Host associations of Culex panocossa (Diptera: Culicidae) in southern Florida and its implications for arbovirus transmission

Kristin E. Sloyer, Lawrence E. Reeves, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Culex panocossa, Dyar and Knab, an important enzootic vector of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus subtype ID in Central and South America, was found to have invaded and become established in southern Florida in 2016. No information is currently available regarding the ecology of this invasive mosquito in the United States. Here, we use PCR-based blood meal analysis to investigate vertebrate host associations of Cx. panocossa from Florida to provide information necessary for determining the potential importance of this mosquito for arbovirus transmission in the United States. Culex panocossa fed mainly upon birds (49.5%) but took a substantial fraction of blood meals from mammals (33.3%) and reptiles (17.1%). By feeding upon amplifying hosts of Everglades virus (hispid cotton rat) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (wading birds) and humans, Cx. panocossa could act as a bridge vector for these pathogenic Alphaviruses in Florida, potentially resulting in increased human disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-732
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2024

Keywords

  • arbovirus
  • blood meal
  • Culex cedecei
  • Culex panocossa
  • Everglades virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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