To determine whether vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection of Culicoides sonorensis Wirth & Jones (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) affects subsequent blood-feeding behavior, midges injected with either virus-infected or virus-free cell lysates were allowed to blood feed for short (10-min) or long (60-min) periods on 2, 3, and 4 d postinoculation (DPI). Generalized linear mixed models were fit to test the effects of infection status, duration of feeding period, and DPI on the percentage of females that blood fed. VSV-infection significantly reduced the percentage of females that blood fed on 2 DPI, the day of peak virus titer. On 3 DPI a significantly greater percentage of midges blood fed when allowed 60 min to feed. This effect was not seen on 2 and 4 DPI and was not dependent on VSV infection status. The impact of changes in blood-feeding behavior by infected insects on virus transmission is discussed.
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Vol. 45 • No. 5