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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Effects of larval rearing temperature on immature development and West Nile virus vector competence of Culex tarsalis

Brittany L Dodson1, Laura D Kramer45 and Jason L Rasgon123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802, PA, USA

2 Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802, PA, USA

3 The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802, PA, USA

4 Arbovirus Laboratories, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Slingerlands, 12159, NY, USA

5 School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, 12144, NY, USA

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:199  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-199

Published: 11 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Temperature is known to induce changes in mosquito physiology, development, ecology, and in some species, vector competence for arboviruses. Since colonized mosquitoes are reared under laboratory conditions that can be significantly different from their field counterparts, laboratory vector competence experiments may not accurately reflect natural vector-virus interactions.

Methods

We evaluated the effects of larval rearing temperature on immature development parameters and vector competence of two Culex tarsalis strains for West Nile virus (WNV).

Results

Rearing temperature had a significant effect on mosquito developmental parameters, including shorter time to pupation and emergence and smaller female body size as temperature increased. However, infection, dissemination, and transmission rates for WNV at 5, 7, and 14 days post infectious feeding were not consistently affected.

Conclusions

These results suggest that varying constant larval rearing temperature does not significantly affect laboratory estimates of vector competence for WNV in Culex tarsalis mosquitoes.

Keywords:
Mosquito; West Nile virus; Global climate change; Transmission; Development