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Emerging vectors in the Culex pipiens complex.

Authors
  • Fonseca, Dina M
  • Keyghobadi, Nusha
  • Malcolm, Colin A
  • Mehmet, Ceylan
  • Schaffner, Francis
  • Mogi, Motoyoshi
  • Fleischer, Robert C
  • Wilkerson, Richard C
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science
Publisher
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Mar 05, 2004
Volume
303
Issue
5663
Pages
1535–1538
Identifiers
PMID: 15001783
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the Old World, some mosquitoes in the Culex pipiens complex are excellent enzootic vectors of West Nile virus, circulating the virus among birds, whereas others bite mainly humans and other mammals. Here we show that, in northern Europe, such forms differing in behavior and physiology have unique microsatellite fingerprints with no evidence of gene flow between them, as would be expected from distinct species. In the United States, however, hybrids between these forms are ubiquitous. Such hybrids between human-biters and bird-biters may be the bridge vectors contributing to the unprecedented severity and range of the West Nile virus epidemic in North America.

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