Ranaviruses are worldwide pathogens of ectothermic vertebrates that can threaten herptile conservation efforts. Identifying transmission routes is critical for understanding disease ecology and promoting species conservation. Frog virus 3 (FV3) DNA was detected in mosquitoes during a ranavirus outbreak in semicaptive box turtles, but the role that insect vectors play under natural conditions is unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we collected mosquito species known to take blood meals from reptiles and amphibians (Aedes canadensis, Culex erraticus, Culex territans, and Uranotaenia sapphirina) from mid-May to early August, 2014, at four study sites in Vermilion County, Illinois, two of which had historic or ongoing FV3 outbreaks in box turtles and amphibians. Mosquitoes were batched by date and species, DNA was extracted, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed for detection of FV3. FV3 was not detected despite one of the sites having an active FV3 outbreak during the study period. Our findings indicate that FV3 detection is uncommon in mosquitoes during outbreak and nonoutbreak conditions at these sites in Illinois. Thus, we cannot establish that mosquitoes contribute to transmission during natural mortality events without performing further studies.
- Eastern box turtles
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