Evaluating sampling strategies for enzootic Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus vectors in Florida and Panama

Kristin E. Sloyer, Mileyka Santos, Eddier Rivera, Lawrence E. Reeves, Jean Paul Carrera, Amy Y. Vittor, Anayansi Valderrama, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Determining effective sampling methods for mosquitoes are among the first objectives in elucidating transmission cycles of vector-borne zoonotic disease, as the effectiveness of sampling methods can differ based on species, location, and physiological state. The Spis-sipes section of the subgenus Melanoconion of Culex represents an understudied group of mosquitoes which transmit Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses (VEEV) in the Western Hemisphere. The objective of this study was to determine effective collection methods that target both blood-engorged and non-engorged females of the Spissipes section of Culex subgenus Melanoconion to test the hypothesis that favorable trapping methods differ between species and by physiological status within a species. Mosquitoes were collected using two commercially available traps, (CDC-light trap and BG-Sentinel trap), two novel passive traps (a novel mosquito drift fence and pop-up resting shelters), and two novel aspi-rators, (a small-diameter aspirator and a large-diameter aspirator) in Darién, Panama, and Florida, USA. The total number of female mosquitoes collected for each species was compared using rarefaction curves and diversity metrics. We also compared the utility of each trap for collecting total females and blood-engorged females of four Spissipes section mosquito species in Florida and Darién. In Darién, it was found that both blood-engorged and unfed females of Cx. pedroi were most effectively collected using the mosquito drift fence at 57.6% and 61.7% respectively. In contrast, the most unfed Cx. spissipes were collected using the mosquito drift fence (40.7%) while blood-engorged females were collected effectively by pop-up resting shelters (42.3%). In Florida, the best sampling technique for the collection of blood-engorged Cx. panocossa was the large diameter aspirator at 41.9%, while the best trap for collecting Cx. cedecei was the pop-up resting shelter at 45.9%. For unfed female Spissipes section mosquitoes in Florida, the CDC light trap with CO2 collected 84.5% and 98.3% of Cx. cedecei and Cx. panocossa respectively in Florida. Rarefaction analysis, and both the Shannon and Simpsons diversity indices all demonstrated that the mosquito drift fence was capable of collecting the greatest diversity of mosquito species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0010329
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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