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Regional comparison of mosquito bloodmeals in South Australia: implications for Ross River virus ecology


Flies, EJ and Flies, AS and Fricker, SR and Weinstein, P and Williams, CR, Regional comparison of mosquito bloodmeals in South Australia: implications for Ross River virus ecology, Journal of Medical Entomology, 53, (4) pp. 902-910. ISSN 0022-2585 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Authors 2016

DOI: doi:10.1093/jme/tjw035


Ross River virus (RRV) is responsible for the most notifications of human arboviral infection in Australia. Seroprevalence and experimental infection studies have implicated macropods (e.g., kangaroos) as the major reservoir hosts. However, transmission ecology varies spatially, and infections in urban areas have prompted the question of what animals serve as reservoirs in regions where macropods are scarce. In South Australia (SA), human infection rates for RRV vary greatly by region as do vector and reservoir abundance. We hypothesized that mosquito abundance and feeding patterns would vary among ecoregions of SA and could help explain divergent human case rates. To test our hypothesis, we amplified and sequenced a 457 base pair region of the cytochrome B segment of mitochondrial DNA from blood fed mosquitoes collected in three main ecoregions of SA and identified sequences using a BLAST search in NCBI. Domestic livestock made up the vast majority of bloodmeals from the region with the highest human infection rate. Livestock are generally not considered to be important reservoir hosts for RRV, but our results suggest they may have a role in transmission ecology in some places. Surprisingly, none of the 199 bloodmeal samples were identified as macropod in origin. In the context of these findings, we consider the possible RRV vectors and reservoir hosts in these regions and propose that diverse spatial and temporal transmission ecologies occur in SA, depending on vector and reservoir availability.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:feeding behavior, Ross River virus, vector-borne pathogen, arboviral transmission, ecology
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Flies, EJ (Dr Emily Flies)
UTAS Author:Flies, AS (Dr Andy Flies)
ID Code:109108
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2016-05-24
Last Modified:2020-01-23

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