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Open AccessArticle

West Nile Virus Mosquito Vectors (Diptera: Culicidae) in Germany

1
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Infectology, 17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany
2
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases, 17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany
3
Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, 15374 Muencheberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Viruses 2020, 12(5), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12050493
Received: 3 March 2020 / Revised: 21 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 28 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Arboviruses)
In 2018, West Nile virus (WNV) broke out for the first time in Germany, with continuation of the epidemic in 2019, involving birds, horses and humans. To identify vectors and characterize the virus, mosquitoes were collected in both years in zoological gardens and on a horse meadow immediately following the diagnosis of disease cases in birds and horses. Mosquitoes were identified and screened for WNV by qRT-PCR, with virus-positive samples being sequenced for the viral envelope protein gene. While no positive mosquitoes were found in 2018, seven mosquito pools tested positive for WNV in 2019 in the Tierpark (Wildlife Park) Berlin. The pools consisted of Cx. pipiens biotype pipiens (n = 5), and a mixture of Cx. p. biotype pipiens and Cx. p. biotype molestus (n = 2), or hybrids of these, and were collected between 13 August and 24 September 2019. The virus strain turned out to be nearly identical to two WNV strains isolated from birds diseased in 2018 in eastern Germany. The findings represent the first demonstration of WNV in mosquitoes in Germany and include the possibility of local overwintering of the virus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Culex pipiens; first report; Germany; mosquito vectors; overwintering; transmission; West Nile virus Culex pipiens; first report; Germany; mosquito vectors; overwintering; transmission; West Nile virus
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Kampen, H.; Holicki, C.M.; Ziegler, U.; Groschup, M.H.; Tews, B.A.; Werner, D. West Nile Virus Mosquito Vectors (Diptera: Culicidae) in Germany. Viruses 2020, 12, 493.

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