[Assessment of the risk of introduction to Tunisia of the Rift Valley fever virus by the mosquito Culex pipiens].

Abstract : The mosquito Culex pipiens has been involved as vector of the West Nile virus in Tunisia. Its bio-ecological characteristics in combination with some environmental factors have favoured the emergence of this virus in a West-Nile free zone. This leads to question about the potential risk of introducing another arbovirus, the Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus, in Tunisia from neighbouring countries where RVF circulates. In this study, we have evaluated the vector competence of different populations of Cx. pipiens towards two strains of RVF virus, the virulent ZH548 and the avirulent Clone 13 by experimental infections and the genetic differentiation of these populations of Cx. pipiens using four microsatellite loci. We found disseminated infection rates ranging from 0% to 14.7% and a high genetic differentiation among populations without any geographical pattern (no isolation by distance). Thus, although Cx. pipiens is able to sustain an amplification of RVF virus, viral dissemination through mosquito dispersal would be unlikely. However, as RVF is an emerging disease transmitted by several other potential mosquito species (e.g. Ochlerotatus caspius), attention should be maintained to survey livestock and mosquitoes in Tunisia.
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G. Krida, L. Diancourt, A. Bouattour, A. Rhim, B. Chermiti, et al.. [Assessment of the risk of introduction to Tunisia of the Rift Valley fever virus by the mosquito Culex pipiens].. Bulletin de la Société de pathologie exotique , Masson, 2011, 104 (4), pp.250-9. ⟨10.1007/s13149-010-0122-4⟩. ⟨pasteur-00661663⟩



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