Surveillance for mosquito-borne viruses was conducted in Barkedji area from 1990 to 1995, following an outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus in southern Mauritania. Mosquitoes, sand flies, and midges were collected from human bait and trapped by solid-state U.S. Army battery-powered CDC miniature light traps baited with dry ice or animals (sheep or chickens) at four ponds. Overall, 237,091 male and female mosquitoes representing 52 species in eight genera, 214,967 Phlebotomine sand flies, and 2,527 Culicoides were collected, identified, and tested for arboviruses in 9,490 pools (7,050 pools of female and 331 of male mosquitoes, 2,059 pools of sand flies and 50 pools of Culicoides). Viruses isolated included one Alphavirus, Babanki (BBK); six Flaviviruses, Bagaza (BAG), Ar D 65239, Wesselsbron (WSL), West Nile (WN), Koutango (KOU), Saboya (SAB); two Bunyavirus, Bunyamwera (BUN) and Ngari (NRI); two Phleboviruses, Rift Valley fever (RVF) and Gabek Forest (GF); one Orbivirus, Ar D 66707 (Sanar); one Rhabdovirus, Chandipura (CHP); and one unclassified virus, Ar D 95537. Based on repeated isolations, high field infection rates and abundance, Culex appeared to be the vectors of BAG, BBK, Ar D 65239 (BAG-like), and WN viruses, Ae. vexans and Ae. ochraceus of RVF virus, Mansonia of WN and BAG viruses, Mimomyia of WN and BAG viruses, and Phlebotomine of SAB, CHP, Ar D 95537, and GF viruses. Our data indicate that RVF virus circulated repeatedly in the Barkedji area.
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Vol. 38 • No. 4