Reintroduction of Riff Valley fever (RVF) into Egypt in 1993 raised concerns about the potential for Egyptian mosquitoes to transmit the virus. We evaluated the ability of Aedes caspius, Culex pipiens, Cx. antennatus, Cx. perexiguus, Cx. poicilipes, and Anopheles pharoensis collected in the Aswan area and Cx. pipiens collected in the Nile Delta to transmit RVF virus. All mosquito species tested were susceptible to RVF virus injection, with An, pharoensis and Ae. caspius being the most sensitive to infection. However, none of 12 An. pharoensis, including 10 with a disseminated infection, transmitted RVF virus by bite. In contrast, nearly all Cx. pipiens (87%, n = 15) and Cx. perexiguus (90%, n = 10) with a disseminated infection transmitted virus. Overall transmission rates for mosquitoes exposed to hamsters with a viremia ≥ 107 plaque-forming units/ml were Ae. caspius, 20% (n = 5); Cx. pipiens. 7% (n = 102); Cx. antennatus, 7% (n = 30); Cx. perexiguus, 11% (n = 9); and An. pharoensis, 0% (n = 7). Based on abundance, susceptibility to infection, ability to transmit virus, and feeding behavior, Ae, caspius appeared to be the most efficient vector of the Egyptian mosquitoes evaluated. While less susceptible than Ae. caspius, Cx. pipiens, Cx, antennatus, and Cx. perexiguus were also potential vectors during this RVF outbreak in Egypt.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases