Members of the Culex pipiens complex have been implicated as vectors of a number of arboviruses including St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile, Sindbis, and Rift Valley fever viruses. For some viruses, such as West Nile virus, laboratory studies have indicated that various members of this complex have a similar ability to become infected with and transmit virus, thus providing evidence for the similarity among the various members of this complex. On the other hand, although strains of Cx. pipiens from various parts of the world have all been relatively efficient vectors of Rift Valley fever virus, Cx. quinquefasciatus from Africa, Australia, and North America have been nearly refractory to this virus, thus indicating that the various members of this complex do not necessarily respond similarly to a particular arbovirus. Based on the similar response to some viruses and differing response to others, Cx. pipiens and Cx. quinquefasciatus appear to be closely related, but distinct species.
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