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1 July 2010 Detection of Francisella tularensis in Alaskan Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and Assessment of a Laboratory Model for Transmission
Alison N. Triebenbach, Sigrid J. Vogl, Leda Lotspeich-Cole, Derek S. Sikes, George M. Happ, Karsten Hueffer
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Abstract

Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by the Category A bioterrorism agent Francisella tularensis. In Scandinavia, tularemia transmission by mosquitoes has been widely cited in the literature, We tested >2,500 mosquitoes captured in Alaska and found Francisella DNA in 30% of pooled samples. To examine the potential for transmission of Francisella by mosquitoes, we developed a mosquito model of Francisella infection, Larvae of Anopheles gambiae Giles and Aedes aegypti (L.) readily ingest F. tularensis but do not efficiently transfer infective doses of the bacterium to the pupal or adult stage, After a bloodmeal containing Francisella, adult female An. gambiae and Ae. aegypti retained detectable levels of Francisella DNA for 3 d, but when they took a second bloodmeal, the mammalian host was not infected. This study suggests that although Francisella DNA can be detected in a significant portion of wild-caught mosquitoes, transmission of Francisella is either very inefficient or is species dependent for the Francisella strain or the arthropod vector.

© 2010 Entomological Society of America
Alison N. Triebenbach, Sigrid J. Vogl, Leda Lotspeich-Cole, Derek S. Sikes, George M. Happ, and Karsten Hueffer "Detection of Francisella tularensis in Alaskan Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and Assessment of a Laboratory Model for Transmission," Journal of Medical Entomology 47(4), 639-648, (1 July 2010). https://doi.org/10.1603/ME09192
Received: 24 July 2009; Accepted: 1 March 2010; Published: 1 July 2010
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