A Molecular Screening of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for Flaviviruses in a Focus of West Nile Virus Infection in Northern Iran
AbstractBackground: Mosquito-borne arboviruses such as West Nile (WN), dengue, Rift Valley fever, and Sindbis viruses are reported in Iran, but large-scale studies have not been performed on mosquitoes to find their vectors. A molecular study of the adult mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for flaviviruses was carried out in a focus of WN infection, Guilan Province, northern Iran.Methods: Mosquito collections were carried out in five stations of two counties (Anzali and Rasht) using light traps, hand catch by manual aspirators and night landing catch during August–September 2013 and 2014. Molecular screening of WN virus and more widely for Flavivirus RNA was carried out using specific PCR technique.Results: In total, 1015 adult mosquitoes were collected including 8 species representing four genera. The most prevalent species were Ae. vexans (33.2%), Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (22%), Cx. pipiens (20.7%), and An. maculipennis s.l. (15.6%). Molecular screening was carried out on the 1015 mosquitoes after they were organized as 38 pools according to sex, species and trapping location. None of the pools were positive.Conclusion: Surveillance should be continued while increasing the sampling campaigns due to the presence of wetlands in the region and abundant species which are considered as vectors, feeding both on birds and humans.
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