Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is the most pathogenic arbovirus endemic to the United States. Studies have demonstrated Florida's role as a regional reservoir for the virus and its ability to support year-round transmission. Previous research has developed risk index models for mapping locations most at risk for EEEV transmission. We compared vector abundance, vector feeding behavior, potential host species, and fauna presence at high versus low–moderate risk sites during the winter and spring. Predicted high-risk sites had a significantly greater abundance of mosquitoes overall, including Culiseta melanura (Coquillett) (Diptera: Culicidae), the primary enzootic vector of EEEV. Twenty host species were identified from Cs. melanura bloodmeals, with the majority taken from avian species. Culiseta melanura largely fed upon the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis (Passeriformes: Cardinalidae)), which accounted for 20–24.4% of the bloodmeals obtained from this species in years 1 and 2, respectively. One EEEV-positive mosquito pool (Cs. melanura) and nine EEEV seropositive sentinel chickens were confirmed during winter-spring collections from high-risk sites; no seropositive chickens nor mosquito pools were found at the low–moderate risk sites. These results suggest that high-risk sites for EEEV activity are characterized by habitats that support populations of Cs. melanura and which may also provide ample opportunities to feed upon Northern Cardinals. The overall low level of mosquito populations during the winter also suggests that control of Cs. melanura populations in winter at high-risk sites may prove effective in reducing EEEV transmission during the peak summer season.
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. 58 • No. 6