Field and laboratory studies were performed to verify whether Culex theileri Theobald functions as a natural vector of Dirofilaria immitis (Leidy) on Madeira Island, Portugal. CO2-baited light traps (EVS traps) were use to sample mosquitoes monthly basis between February 2002 and February 2003 in the area of Quebradas (Funchal). Three mosquito species were captured, including 58 Culex pipiens L., 790 Cx. theileri, and three Culiseta longiareolata (Macquart). Only C. theileri tested positive for D. immitis. The presence of this filarial worm was detected by direct observation, infectivity assay dissection technique, and polymerase chain reaction methods. Infected mosquitoes were recovered in October and December 2002 and January 2003. These data provide evidence that Cx. theileri could be the main vector of D. immitis in Funchal, Madeira.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1