Associations between Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes albopictus and West Nile virus (WNV) activity, temperature, and rainfall in Harris County, Texas 2003–06 are discussed. Human cases were highly correlated to Cx. quinquefasciatus (r = 0.87) and Ae. albopictus (r = 0.78) pools, blue jays (r = 0.83), and Ae. albopictus collected (r = 0.71), but not Cx. quinquefasciatus collected (r = 0.45). Human cases were associated with temperature (r = 0.71), not rainfall (r = 0.29), whereas temperature correlated with Ae. albopictus and Cx. quinquefasciatus collections (r = 0.88 and 0.70, respectively) and Cx. quinquefasciatus pools (r = 0.75), but not Ae. albopictus pools (r = 0.55). Both species (collections and pools) and blue jays were weakly correlated (r ≤ 0.41) with rainfall, but blue jays were better correlated with Cx. quinquefasciatus pools (r = 0.87), compared with Ae. albopictus pools (r = 0.67), Ae. albopictus collections (r = 0.69), and Cx. quinquefasciatus collections (r = 0.46). Peak minimum infection rate for Cx. quinquefasciatus (4.55), and Ae. albopictus (4.41) was in August with highest human cases (17.87), blue jays (55.58), and temperature (29.01°C). Between both species, blood meal analysis indicated 68.18% of Cx. quinquefasciatus mammalian hosts were dog, while 22.72% were human, whereas Ae. albopictus had higher human (44.44%) but fewer dog hosts (22.22%). Ten bird species were identified as hosts for Cx. quinquefasciatus, with northern cardinal and blue jay representing 26.66% and 20.00%, respectively. No bird feeding activity was observed in Ae. albopictus. The earliest and latest human blood meal occurred in May (Ae. albopictus) and November (Cx. quinquefasciatus); 66.66% of human host identifications between both species occurred in October–November, after the seasonal human case peak. Based upon our data, WNV activity in both mosquito species warrants further investigation of their individual roles in WNV ecology within this region.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3