Effect of temperature on the transmission of western equine encephalomyelitis and St. Louis encephalitis viruses by Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae).

W. K. Reisen, R. P. Meyer, S. B. Presser, J. L. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extrinsic incubation rate (inverse of the time in days from infection to median transmission) of western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) viruses by laboratory strains of Culex tarsalis Coquillett increased as a linear function of incubation temperatures from 10 to 30 degrees C. The estimated temperatures for zero transmission thresholds (intercept of the X axis) were 10.9 and 14.9 degrees C, and the number of degree days above these thresholds required for median transmission (inverse of the slope) was 67.6 and 115.2, respectively. Although the bodies of most Cx. tarsalis females remained infected and the WEE viral titer did not decrease significantly throughout the incubation periods at all temperatures, transmission rates by females incubated at 20 to 30 degrees C decreased markedly after peaking at 7-10 d after infection. In contrast, midgut escape and salivary gland infection barriers limited the transmission rates of SLE virus at all temperatures, but these rates did not decrease markedly as a function of incubation time, indicating that virus modulation did not occur. Degree-day models were used to calculate monthly changes in the duration of the extrinsic incubation period for WEE and SLE viruses in the San Joaquin and Coachella valleys based on mosquito temperatures estimated by combining nocturnal air and diurnal resting site temperatures. Temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley averaged 5 degrees C cooler than in the Coachella Valley, proportionately shortening the duration of the potential transmission season for WEE virus from 10 to 8 mo and for SLE virus from 8 to 5 mo, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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