Detection of Dengue Virus in Bat Flies (Diptera: Streblidae) of Common Vampire Bats, Desmodus rotundus, in Progreso, Hidalgo, Mexico

Judith Abundes-Gallegos, Monica Salas-Rojas, Guillermo Galvez-Romero, Leonardo Perea-Martínez, Cirani Y. Obregón-Morales, Juan B. Morales-Malacara, Bruno B Chomel, Matthew J. Stuckey, Hayde Moreno-Sandoval, Anahi García-Baltazar, Benjamin Nogueda-Torres, Gerardo Zuñiga, Alvaro Aguilar-Setién

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Blood-feeding arthropods play a major role in the transmission of several flaviviruses, which represent an important problem for human health. Currently, dengue is one of the most important arboviral emerging diseases worldwide. Furthermore, some previous studies have reported the presence of viral nucleic acids and antibodies against dengue virus (DENV) in wild animals. Our knowledge of the role played by wildlife reservoirs in the sylvatic transmission and maintenance of DENV remains limited. Our objective was to screen blood-feeding ectoparasites (bat flies) and their common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) hosts, for flaviviruses in Hidalgo, Mexico. We detected Flavivirus sequences in 38 pools of ectoparasites (Diptera: Streblidae, Strebla wiedemanni and Trichobius parasiticus) and 8 tissue samples of D. rotundus by RT-PCR and semi-nested PCR using FlaviPF1S, FlaviPR2bis, and FlaviPF3S primers specific for NS5, a gene highly conserved among flaviviruses. Phylogenetic inference analysis performed using the maximum likelihood algorithm implemented in PhyML showed that six sequences clustered with DENV (bootstrap value = 53.5%). Although this study supports other reports of DENV detection in bats and arthropods other than Aedes mosquitoes, the role of these ectoparasitic flies and of hematophagous bats in the epidemiology of DENV still warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • bat
  • bat flies
  • dengue virus
  • Desmodus rotundus
  • Streblidae family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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