The Culex pipiens Complex in the Mississippi River Basin: Identification, Distribution, and Bloodmeal Hosts

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA.
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (Impact Factor: 0.95). 12/2012; 28(4 Suppl):93-9. DOI: 10.2987/8756-971X-28.4.93
Source: PubMed


Members of the Culex pipiens complex are the primary vectors of St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile virus in the Mississippi River basin (MRB). The Cx. pipiens complex in the MRB is composed of 4 taxa: Cx. p. pipiens form pipiens, Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, hybrids between Cx. p. pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, and Cx. p. pipiens form molestus. Three studies on bloodmeal hosts with large sample sizes have been conducted on members of the Cx. pipiens complex in the MRB including 1 each on Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from Louisiana, Cx. p. pipiens-quinquefasciatus hybrids from Tennessee, and Cx. p. pipiens from Illinois. The top 8 bloodmeal hosts from each of the 3 sites accounted for 68-92% of bloodmeals. Only 14 species accounted for the top 8 bloodmeal hosts at each of the 3 sites. The most often utilized bloodmeal hosts for members of the Culex pipiens complex within the MRB are the American robin, Northern cardinal, human, raccoon, common grackle, house sparrow, mourning dove, dog, Northern mockingbird, blue jay, opossum, domestic horse, house finch and European starling. Human feeding varied widely among sites from 1% to 15.7% of bloodmeals. The proportion of bloodmeals taken on humans is an important epidemiological variable and future studies are needed to define the primary genetic and environmental factors that influence host utilization by members of the Cx. pipiens complex.

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