Schmallenberg virus detection in Culicoides biting midges in Spain: First laboratory evidence for highly efficient infection of Culicoides of the Obsoletus complex and Culicoides imicola

N. Pagès, S. Talavera, M. Verdún, N. Pujol, M. Valle, A. Bensaid, J. Pujols

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    Abstract

    © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH Since Schmallenberg disease was discovered in 2011, the disease rapidly spread across Europe. Culicoides biting midges have been implicated as putative Schmallenberg vectors in Europe. The detection of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in field collected Culicoides was evaluated through retrospective (2011–2012) collections and captures performed in 2013. This study represents the first detection of SBV in field collected Culicoides in Spain. Infectious midges were detected at the foothills of Pyrenees, Aramunt, in the summer 2012. All the specimens infected with Schmallenberg were of the species Culicoides obsoletus s.s. confirming its putative vector status in Spain. Experimental infection on field collected Culicoides provided evidence of atypical high efficiency for SBV vector infection and transmission potential in local populations of Culicoides imicola and in Culicoides of the Obsoletus complex. However, captured individuals of C. imicola were more susceptible to SBV infection than C. obsoletus s.l. (p <.001), with an infection ratio of 0.94 and 0.63, respectively. In contrast, a Culicoides nubeculosus colony appeared to be refractory to SBV infection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e1-e6
    JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
    Volume65
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

    Keywords

    • Culicoides
    • SBV
    • arbovirus
    • infection
    • outbreak
    • vector
    • vector competence

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