Prof. Andres Merits (University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia) will present a keynote lecture at the meeting. At this meeting, Rianka Vloet will present her work on the project: "Transmission of Rift Valley fever virus from viremic lambs to Culex pipiens mosquitoes native to The Netherlands."
Transmission of Rift Valley fever virus from viremic lambs to Culex pipiens mosquitoes native to The Netherlands
Rianka P. M. Vloet (*1), Chantal B. F. Vogels (*2), Constantianus J. M. Koenraadt (*2), Gorben P. Pijlman (*3), Lucien van Keulen (*1), Paul J. Wichgers Schreur (*1), J. Kortekaas (*1)
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne bunyavirus of the genus Phlebovirus that causes severe disease in ruminants and occasionally humans. The disease is endemic to the African continent, the Arabian Peninsula and several islands located off the coast of Southeast Africa. Globalization, climate change and their impact on the distribution of mosquito vectors raise concerns about future incursions into currently unaffected areas including Europe. We have previously demonstrated that lambs native to the Netherlands are highly susceptible to RVFV. To further assess the risk of a future RVFV incursion into the Netherlands, we here report the vector competence of the most abundant and widespread mosquito species in the country; Culex (Cx.) pipiens. Artificial feeding experiments demonstrated that RVFV readily infects laboratory-reared Cx. pipiens mosquitoes, followed by dissemination to the salivary glands. Infection and dissemination rates were positively influenced by virus dose, temperature and time after feeding. To assess the likelihood of transmission in the field, mosquitoes were allowed to feed on lambs during different stages of viremia. Remarkably, efficient transmission of the virus occurred within a timeframe of little more than 24 hrs, a finding that sheds new light onto the epidemiology of RVF.
(*1) Department of Virology, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, P. O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands
(*2) Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8031, 6700 EH, Wageningen, The Netherlands
(*3) Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8031, 6700 EH, Wageningen, The Netherlands