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EHDV-2 Infection Prevalence Varies in Culicoides sonorensis after Feeding on Infected White-Tailed Deer over the Course of Viremia

1
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 589 D.W. Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, 1603 Old Claflin Place, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
3
Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 1515 College Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
4
Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 220 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Department of Biology, Emory University, O. Wayne Rollins Research Center, 1510 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Current address: Department of Biology and Geology, University of South Carolina Aiken, Aiken, SC 29801, USA.
Viruses 2019, 11(4), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11040371
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Vector-Host Interactions of Culicoides-Borne Diseases)
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Abstract

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease viruses (EHDVs) are arboviral pathogens of white-tailed deer and other wild and domestic ruminants in North America. Transmitted by various species of Culicoides, EHDVs circulate wherever competent vectors and susceptible ruminant host populations co-exist. The impact of variation in the level and duration of EHDV viremia in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on Culicoides infection prevalence is not well characterized. Here we examined how infection prevalence in a confirmed North American vector of EHDV-2 (Culicoides sonorensis) varies in response to fluctuations in deer viremia. To accomplish this, five white-tailed deer were experimentally infected with EHDV-2 and colonized C. sonorensis were allowed to feed on deer at 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 18, and 24 days post infection (dpi). Viremia profiles in deer were determined by virus isolation and titration at the same time points. Blood-fed Culicoides were assayed for virus after a 10-day incubation (27 °C) period. We found that increases in deer EHDV blood titers significantly increased both the likelihood that midges would successfully acquire EHDV and the proportion of midges that reached the titer threshold for transmission competence. Unexpectedly, we identified four infected midge samples (three individuals and one pool) after feeding on one deer 18 and 24 dpi, when viremia was no longer detectable by virus isolation. The ability of ruminants with low-titer viremia to serve as a source of EHDV for blood-feeding Culicoides should be explored further to better understand its potential epidemiological significance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Culicoides sonorensis; epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus; hemorrhagic disease; Odocoileus virginianus; orbivirus; white-tailed deer Culicoides sonorensis; epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus; hemorrhagic disease; Odocoileus virginianus; orbivirus; white-tailed deer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mendiola, S.Y.; Mills, M.K.; Maki, E.; Drolet, B.S.; Wilson, W.C.; Berghaus, R.; Stallknecht, D.E.; Breitenbach, J.; McVey, D.S.; Ruder, M.G. EHDV-2 Infection Prevalence Varies in Culicoides sonorensis after Feeding on Infected White-Tailed Deer over the Course of Viremia. Viruses 2019, 11, 371.

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