Biting flies have been suggested as mechanical vectors of vesicular stomatitis New Jersey Virus (family Rhabdoviridae, genus Vesiculovirus, VSNJV) in livestock populations during epidemic outbreaks in the western United States. We conducted a proof-of-concept study to determine whether biting flies could mechanically transmit VSNJV to livestock by using a black fly, Simulium vittatum Zetterstedt (Diptera: Simuliidae), domestic swine, Sus scrofa L., model. Black flies mechanically transmitted VSNJV to a naïve host after interrupted feeding on a vesicular lesion on a previously infected host. Transmission resulted in clinical disease in the naïve host. This is the first demonstration of mechanical transmission of VSNJV to livestock by insects.
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Vol. 46 • No. 6