Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

La Crosse encephalitis virus infection in field-collected Aedes albopictus, Aedes japonicus, and Aedes triseriatus in Tennessee.

Abstract

Abstract La Crosse virus (LACV) is a mosquito-borne virus and a major cause of pediatric encephalitis in the USA. La Crosse virus emerged in Tennessee and other states in the Appalachian region in 1997. We investigated LACV infection rates and seasonal abundances of the native mosquito vector, Aedes triseriatus, and 2 recently introduced mosquito species, Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus, in an emerging disease focus in Tennessee. Mosquitoes were collected using multiple trapping methods specific for Aedes mosquitoes at recent human case sites. Mosquito pools were tested via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of the S segment to detect multiple Bunyamwera and California serogroup viruses, including LACV, as well as real-time RT-PCR of the M segment. A total of 54 mosquito pools were positive, including wild-caught adult females and laboratory-reared adults, demonstrating transovarial transmission in all 3 species. Maximum likelihood estimates (per 1,000 mosquitoes) were 2.72 for Ae. triseriatus, 3.01 for Ae. albopictus, and 0.63 for Ae. japonicus. We conclude that Ae. triseriatus and Ae. albopictus are important LACV vectors and that Ae. japonicus also may be involved in virus maintenance and transmission.