ResearchPad - culicoides https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A model for the assessment of bluetongue virus serotype 1 persistence in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11225 Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an arbovirus of ruminants that has been circulating in Europe continuously for more than two decades and has become endemic in some countries such as Spain. Spain is ideal for BTV epidemiological studies since BTV outbreaks from different sources and serotypes have occurred continuously there since 2000; BTV-1 has been reported there from 2007 to 2017. Here we develop a model for BTV-1 endemic scenario to estimate the risk of an area becoming endemic, as well as to identify the most influential factors for BTV-1 persistence. We created abundance maps at 1-km2 spatial resolution for the main vectors in Spain, Culicoides imicola and Obsoletus and Pulicaris complexes, by combining environmental satellite data with occurrence models and a random forest machine learning algorithm. The endemic model included vector abundance and host-related variables (farm density). The three most relevant variables in the endemic model were the abundance of C. imicola and Obsoletus complex and density of goat farms (AUC 0.86); this model suggests that BTV-1 is more likely to become endemic in central and southwestern regions of Spain. It only requires host- and vector-related variables to identify areas at greater risk of becoming endemic for bluetongue. Our results highlight the importance of suitable Culicoides spp. prediction maps for bluetongue epidemiological studies and decision-making about control and eradication measures.

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<![CDATA[Vector competence of biting midges and mosquitoes for Shuni virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75dfd5eed0c4843d037a

Background

Shuni virus (SHUV) is an orthobunyavirus that belongs to the Simbu serogroup. SHUV was isolated from diverse species of domesticated animals and wildlife, and is associated with neurological disease, abortions, and congenital malformations. Recently, SHUV caused outbreaks among ruminants in Israel, representing the first incursions outside the African continent. The isolation of SHUV from a febrile child in Nigeria and seroprevalence among veterinarians in South Africa suggests that the virus may have zoonotic potential as well. The high pathogenicity, extremely broad tropism, potential transmission via both biting midges and mosquitoes, and zoonotic features of SHUV require further investigation. This is important to accurately determine the risk for animal and human health, and to facilitate preparations for potential epidemics. To gain first insight into the potential involvement of biting midges and mosquitoes in SHUV transmission we have investigated the ability of SHUV to infect two species of laboratory-colonised biting midges and two species of mosquitoes.

Methodology/Principal findings

Culicoides nubeculosus, C. sonorensis, Culex pipiens pipiens, and Aedes aegypti were orally exposed to SHUV by providing an infectious blood meal. Biting midges showed high infection rates of approximately 40%-60%, whereas infection rates of mosquitoes were only 0–2%. Moreover, successful dissemination in both species of biting midges and no evidence for transmission by orally exposed mosquitoes was found.

Conclusions/Significance

The results of this study suggest that different species of Culicoides midges are efficient in SHUV transmission, while the involvement of mosquitoes has not been supported.

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<![CDATA[Ecological niche modeling the potential geographic distribution of four Culicoides species of veterinary significance in Florida, USA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7067aad5eed0c4847c7470

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a viral arthropod-borne disease affecting wild and domestic ruminants, caused by infection with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV). EHDV is transmitted to vertebrate animal hosts by biting midges in the genus Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Culicoides sonorensis Wirth and Jones is the only confirmed vector of EHDV in the United States but is considered rare in Florida and not sufficiently abundant to support EHDV transmission. This study used ecological niche modeling to map the potential geographical distributions and associated ecological variable space of four Culicoides species suspected of transmitting EHDV in Florida, including Culicoides insignis Lutz, Culicoides stellifer (Coquillett), Culicoides debilipalpis Hoffman and Culicoides venustus Lutz. Models were developed with the Genetic Algorithm for Rule Set Production in DesktopGARP v1.1.3 using species occurrence data from field sampling along with environmental variables from WorldClim and Trypanosomiasis and Land use in Africa. For three Culicoides species (C. insignis, C. stellifer and C. debilipalpis) 96–98% of the presence points were predicted across the Florida landscape (63.8% - 72.5%). For C. venustus, models predicted 98.00% of presence points across 27.4% of Florida. Geographic variations were detected between species. Culicoides insignis was predicted to be restricted to peninsular Florida, and in contrast, C. venustus was predicted to be primarily in north Florida and the panhandle region. Culicoides stellifer and C. debilipalpis were predicted nearly statewide. Environmental conditions also differed by species, with some species’ ranges predicted by more narrow ranges of variables than others. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was a major predictor of C. venustus and C. insignis presence. For C. stellifer, Land Surface Temperature, Middle Infrared were the most limiting predictors of presence. The limiting variables for C. debilipalpis were NDVI Bi-Annual Amplitude and NDVI Annual Amplitude at 22.5% and 28.1%, respectively. The model outputs, including maps and environmental variable range predictions generated from these experiments provide an important first pass at predicting species of veterinary importance in Florida. Because EHDV cannot exist in the environment without the vector, model outputs can be used to estimate the potential risk of disease for animal hosts across Florida. Results also provide distribution and habitat information useful for integrated pest management practices.

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<![CDATA[Vector competence of biting midges and mosquitoes for Shuni virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ea8d5eed0c484d27a47

Background

Shuni virus (SHUV) is an orthobunyavirus that belongs to the Simbu serogroup. SHUV was isolated from diverse species of domesticated animals and wildlife, and is associated with neurological disease, abortions, and congenital malformations. Recently, SHUV caused outbreaks among ruminants in Israel, representing the first incursions outside the African continent. The isolation of SHUV from a febrile child in Nigeria and seroprevalence among veterinarians in South Africa suggests that the virus may have zoonotic potential as well. The high pathogenicity, extremely broad tropism, potential transmission via both biting midges and mosquitoes, and zoonotic features warrants prioritization of SHUV for further research. Additional knowledge is essential to accurately determine the risk for animal and human health, and to assess the risk of future epizootics and epidemics. To gain first insights into the potential involvement of arthropod vectors in SHUV transmission, we have investigated the ability of SHUV to infect and disseminate in laboratory-reared biting midges and mosquitoes.

Methodology/Principal findings

Culicoides nubeculosus, C. sonorensis, Culex pipiens pipiens, and Aedes aegypti were orally exposed to SHUV by providing an infectious blood meal. Biting midges showed high infection rates of approximately 40–60%, whereas infection rates of mosquitoes were lower than 2%. SHUV successfully disseminated in both species of biting midges, but no evidence of transmission in orally exposed mosquitoes was found.

Conclusions/Significance

The results of this study show that different species of Culicoides biting midges are susceptible to infection and dissemination of SHUV, whereas the two mosquito species tested were found not to be susceptible.

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<![CDATA[Identification of the Genome Segments of Bluetongue Virus Serotype 26 (Isolate KUW2010/02) that Restrict Replication in a Culicoides sonorensis Cell Line (KC Cells)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabcab0ee8fa60baf3bd

Bluetongue virus (BTV) can infect most ruminant species and is usually transmitted by adult, vector-competent biting midges (Culicoides spp.). Infection with BTV can cause severe clinical signs and can be fatal, particularly in naïve sheep and some deer species. Although 24 distinct BTV serotypes were recognized for several decades, additional ‘types’ have recently been identified, including BTV-25 (from Switzerland), BTV-26 (from Kuwait) and BTV-27 from France (Corsica). Although BTV-25 has failed to grow in either insect or mammalian cell cultures, BTV-26 (isolate KUW2010/02), which can be transmitted horizontally between goats in the absence of vector insects, does not replicate in a Culicoides sonorensis cell line (KC cells) but can be propagated in mammalian cells (BSR cells). The BTV genome consists of ten segments of linear dsRNA. Mono-reassortant viruses were generated by reverse-genetics, each one containing a single BTV-26 genome segment in a BTV-1 genetic-background. However, attempts to recover a mono-reassortant containing genome-segment 2 (Seg-2) of BTV-26 (encoding VP2), were unsuccessful but a triple-reassortant was successfully generated containing Seg-2, Seg-6 and Seg-7 (encoding VP5 and VP7 respectively) of BTV-26. Reassortants were recovered and most replicated well in mammalian cells (BSR cells). However, mono-reassortants containing Seg-1 or Seg-3 of BTV-26 (encoding VP1, or VP3 respectively) and the triple reassortant failed to replicate, while a mono-reassortant containing Seg-7 of BTV-26 only replicated slowly in KC cells.

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<![CDATA[The Interaction between Vector Life History and Short Vector Life in Vector-Borne Disease Transmission and Control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8c72

Epidemiological modelling has a vital role to play in policy planning and prediction for the control of vectors, and hence the subsequent control of vector-borne diseases. To decide between competing policies requires models that can generate accurate predictions, which in turn requires accurate knowledge of vector natural histories. Here we highlight the importance of the distribution of times between life-history events, using short-lived midge species as an example. In particular we focus on the distribution of the extrinsic incubation period (EIP) which determines the time between infection and becoming infectious, and the distribution of the length of the gonotrophic cycle which determines the time between successful bites. We show how different assumptions for these periods can radically change the basic reproductive ratio (R0) of an infection and additionally the impact of vector control on the infection. These findings highlight the need for detailed entomological data, based on laboratory experiments and field data, to correctly construct the next-generation of policy-informing models.

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<![CDATA[Development and Evaluation of Real Time RT-PCR Assays for Detection and Typing of Bluetongue Virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac5ab0ee8fa60bb2211

Bluetongue virus is the type species of the genus Orbivirus, family Reoviridae. Bluetongue viruses (BTV) are transmitted between their vertebrate hosts primarily by biting midges (Culicoides spp.) in which they also replicate. Consequently BTV distribution is dependent on the activity, geographic distribution, and seasonal abundance of Culicoides spp. The virus can also be transmitted vertically in vertebrate hosts, and some strains/serotypes can be transmitted horizontally in the absence of insect vectors. The BTV genome is composed of ten linear segments of double-stranded (ds) RNA, numbered in order of decreasing size (Seg-1 to Seg-10). Genome segment 2 (Seg-2) encodes outer-capsid protein VP2, the most variable BTV protein and the primary target for neutralising antibodies. Consequently VP2 (and Seg-2) determine the identity of the twenty seven serotypes and two additional putative BTV serotypes that have been recognised so far. Current BTV vaccines are serotype specific and typing of outbreak strains is required in order to deploy appropriate vaccines. We report development and evaluation of multiple ‘TaqMan’ fluorescence-probe based quantitative real-time type-specific RT-PCR assays targeting Seg-2 of the 27+1 BTV types. The assays were evaluated using orbivirus isolates from the ‘Orbivirus Reference Collection’ (ORC) held at The Pirbright Institute. The assays are BTV-type specific and can be used for rapid, sensitive and reliable detection / identification (typing) of BTV RNA from samples of infected blood, tissues, homogenised Culicoides, or tissue culture supernatants. None of the assays amplified cDNAs from closely related but heterologous orbiviruses, or from uninfected host animals or cell cultures.

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<![CDATA[Understanding Spatio-Temporal Variability in the Reproduction Ratio of the Bluetongue (BTV-1) Epidemic in Southern Spain (Andalusia) in 2007 Using Epidemic Trees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacaab0ee8fa60bb3c66

Andalusia (Southern Spain) is considered one of the main routes of introduction of bluetongue virus (BTV) into Europe, evidenced by a devastating epidemic caused by BTV-1 in 2007. Understanding the pattern and the drivers of BTV-1 spread in Andalusia is critical for effective detection and control of future epidemics. A long-standing metric for quantifying the behaviour of infectious diseases is the case-reproduction ratio (Rt), defined as the average number of secondary cases arising from a single infected case at time t (for t>0). Here we apply a method using epidemic trees to estimate the between-herd case reproduction ratio directly from epidemic data allowing the spatial and temporal variability in transmission to be described. We then relate this variability to predictors describing the hosts, vectors and the environment to better understand why the epidemic spread more quickly in some regions or periods. The Rt value for the BTV-1 epidemic in Andalusia peaked in July at 4.6, at the start of the epidemic, then decreased to 2.2 by August, dropped below 1 by September (0.8), and by October it had decreased to 0.02. BTV spread was the consequence of both local transmission within established disease foci and BTV expansion to distant new areas (i.e. new foci), which resulted in a high variability in BTV transmission, not only among different areas, but particularly through time, which suggests that general control measures applied at broad spatial scales are unlikely to be effective. This high variability through time was probably due to the impact of temperature on BTV transmission, as evidenced by a reduction in the value of Rt by 0.0041 for every unit increase (day) in the extrinsic incubation period (EIP), which is itself directly dependent on temperature. Moreover, within the range of values at which BTV-1 transmission occurred in Andalusia (20.6°C to 29.5°C) there was a positive correlation between temperature and Rt values, although the relationship was not linear, probably as a result of the complex relationship between temperature and the different parameters affecting BTV transmission. Rt values for BTV-1 in Andalusia fell below the threshold of 1 when temperatures dropped below 21°C, a much higher threshold than that reported in other BTV outbreaks, such as the BTV-8 epidemic in Northern Europe. This divergence may be explained by differences in the adaptation to temperature of the main vectors of the BTV-1 epidemic in Andalusia (Culicoides imicola) compared those of the BTV-8 epidemic in Northern Europe (Culicoides obsoletus). Importantly, we found that BTV transmission (Rt value) increased significantly in areas with higher densities of sheep. Our analysis also established that control of BTV-1 in Andalusia was complicated by the simultaneous establishment of several distant foci at the start of the epidemic, which may have been caused by several independent introductions of infected vectors from the North of Africa. We discuss the implications of these findings for BTV surveillance and control in this region of Europe.

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<![CDATA[A Deterministic Model to Quantify Risk and Guide Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Bluetongue Virus Transmission in California Dairy Cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da55ab0ee8fa60b8eb4e

The global distribution of bluetongue virus (BTV) has been changing recently, perhaps as a result of climate change. To evaluate the risk of BTV infection and transmission in a BTV-endemic region of California, sentinel dairy cows were evaluated for BTV infection, and populations of Culicoides vectors were collected at different sites using carbon dioxide. A deterministic model was developed to quantify risk and guide future mitigation strategies to reduce BTV infection in California dairy cattle. The greatest risk of BTV transmission was predicted within the warm Central Valley of California that contains the highest density of dairy cattle in the United States. Temperature and parameters associated with Culicoides vectors (transmission probabilities, carrying capacity, and survivorship) had the greatest effect on BTV’s basic reproduction number, R0. Based on these analyses, optimal control strategies for reducing BTV infection risk in dairy cattle will be highly reliant upon early efforts to reduce vector abundance during the months prior to peak transmission.

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