The potential vectors of West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) in Doña Ana County, NM, were determined during 2004 and 2005. Trapping was conducted using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention miniature light-traps baited with dry ice, and gravid traps baited with a hay infusion. In addition, sentinel chickens were housed at four of the trapping locations to monitor WNV epizootic transmission. In total, 5,576 pools consisting of 115,797 female mosquitoes were tested for WNV by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, of which 152 from 13 mosquito species representing six genera were positive. Culex tarsalis Coquillett, Culex quinquefasciatus Say, Culex erythrothorax Dyar, Aedes vexans (Meigan), and Psorophora columbiae (Dyar & Knab) accounted for 86% of all detections. Based on the frequency of WNV detection, our data indicate primary and secondary vector roles for Cx. tarsalis and Cx. quinquefasciatus, respectively, with Cx. erythrothorax, Ae. vexans, and Ps. columbiae as occasional vectors of WNV in Doña Ana County. Other species testing positive for the virus included Aedes aegypti (L.), Anopheles franciscanus McCracken, Culex stigmatosoma Dyar, Culiseta inornata (Williston), Ochlerotatus dorsalis (Meigan), Ochlerotatus sollicitans (Walker), Ochlerotatus trivittatus (Coquillett), and Psorophora signipennis (Coquillett). Although they occurred after initial WNV detections in mosquitoes, in total, 21 seroconversions in sentinel chickens were detected during the study.
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Vol. 46 • No. 6