Identification of avian and hemoparasite DNA in blood-engorged abdomens of Culex pipiens (diptera; Culicidae) from a west Nile virus epidemic region in suburban Chicago, Illinois

Emily Boothe, Matthew C.I. Medeiros, Uriel D. Kitron, Jeffrey D. Brawn, Marilyn O. Ruiz, Tony L. Goldberg, Edward D. Walker, Gabriel L. Hamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Multiple mosquito-borne parasites cocirculate in nature and potentially interact. To understand the community of parasites cocirculating with West Nile virus (WNV), we screened the bloodmeal content of Culex pipiens L. mosquitoes for three common types of hemoparasites. Blood-fed Cx. pipiens were collected from a WNV-epidemic area in suburban Chicago, IL, from May to September 2005 through 2010. DNA was extracted from dissected abdomens and subject to PCR and direct sequencing to identify the vertebrate host. RNA was extracted from the head or thorax and screened for WNV using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Seventy-nine engorged females with avian host origin were screened using PCR and amplicon sequencing for filarioid nematodes, Haemosporida, and trypanosomatids. Filarioid nematodes were identified in 3.8% of the blooded abdomens, Plasmodium sp. in 8.9%, Haemoproteus in 31.6%, and Trypanosoma sp. in 6.3%. The sequences from these hemoparasite lineages were highly similar to sequences from birds in prior studies in suburban Chicago. Overall, 50.6% of blood-fed Culex pipiens contained hemoparasite DNA in their abdomen, presumably from current or prior bloodmeals. Additionally, we detected hemoparasite DNA in the blooded abdomen of three of 10 Cx. pipiens infected with WNV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • American Robin
  • Avian malaria
  • Culex pipiens
  • Hemoparasite
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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