The cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota, Vieillot) could potentially play an important role in the transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) because of its breeding ecology, reservoir competence status, and potentially high natural exposure rates. These birds nest in colonies and their nests are occupied year round by swallow bugs (Oeciacus vicarius, Hovarth), hematophagus ectoparasites that feed primarily on cliff swallows. Swallow bugs are most likely exposed to WNV while feeding on infectious blood of cliff swallows and, thus, if competent vectors, could contribute to initiation and maintenance of seasonal WNV transmission. In addition, swallow bugs remain within nests year round and, therefore, if persistently infected and competent vectors, they could provide an overwintering mechanism for WNV. We tested the hypothesis that swallow bugs become infected with WNV through direct abdominal inoculation or ingestion of infectious blood meals. We observed that swallow bugs did not maintain or amplify WNV, and infectious virus titers within bugs declined over 15 d postexposure. These results suggest that swallow bugs may not be competent vectors of WNV, and therefore are unlikely to play a significant role in transmission.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 47 • No. 5