As part of an ongoing mosquito surveillance program, 27 sites in the greater metropolitan Albuquerque area (Bernalillo County, New Mexico) were trapped from May through September 2004. Each site was sampled for 1 night weekly, using a standard CO2-baited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention light trap and a gravid trap. Captured mosquitoes were catalogued by location, species, and date, and selected pools were tested for West Nile virus (WNV) by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. Based on previous surveillance, WNV was already established in the state of New Mexico. Surveillance during 2003, the 1st year of WNV detection in New Mexico mosquitoes, was focused on the bosque forest of the Rio Grande river valley. Surveillance during summer of 2004 was extended to additional areas around the city of Albuquerque, the state's largest population center. In addition to the standard surveillance objectives, a secondary goal was to determine whether foci of WNV activity were detectable in other habitats besides the riparian ecosystem of the Rio Grande, and in other species not previously identified as vectors. There was no demonstrable advantage to extending the traditional trapping area outside of the Rio Grande valley. Sites in the valley area had WNV-positive mosquitoes earlier in the season, and for a longer period than the added sites. In addition, riparian sites had the highest diversity of species, the largest numbers of Culex spp. captured, and the largest proportion of the WNV-positive mosquito pools from the study. Species found in other areas of the metropolitan area were also represented in the valley. Although WNV activity was detected in other areas of the city, its activity began later and ended earlier than in the river valley. We surmise that the greatest benefit to mosquito surveillance could be achieved by focusing on the river valley area.
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Vol. 23 • No. 2