Culex Flavivirus during West Nile Virus Epidemic and Interepidemic Years in Chicago, United States

Christina M. Newman, Bethany L. Krebs, Tavis K. Anderson, Gabriel L. Hamer, Marilyn O. Ruiz, Jeffrey D. Brawn, William M. Brown, Uriel D. Kitron, Tony L. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Culex flavivirus (CxFV) is an insect-specific flavivirus infecting Culex mosquitoes, which are important vectors of West Nile virus (WNV). CxFV and WNV cocirculate in nature and coinfect Culex mosquitoes, including in a WNV "hotspot" in suburban Chicago. We previously identified a positive association between CxFV and WNV in mosquito pools collected from suburban Chicago in 2006. To further investigate this phenomenon, we compared the spatial and temporal distribution of CxFV during an interepidemic year (2011) and an epidemic year (2012) for WNV. Both viruses were more prevalent in mosquito pools in 2012 compared to 2011. During both years, the CxFV infection status of mosquito pools was associated with environmental factors such as habitat type and precipitation frequency rather than coinfection with WNV. These results support the idea that WNV and CxFV are ecologically associated, perhaps because both viruses respond to similar environmental drivers of mosquito populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-575
Number of pages9
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Culex flavivirus
  • West Nile virus
  • epidemiology
  • virus ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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