Prevalence of Dirofilaria immitis (Spirurida: Onchocercidae) Infection in Aedes, Culex, and Culiseta Mosquitoes From North San Joaquin Valley, CA
Journal of medical entomology
Canine heartworm is one of the most serious infections primarily affecting domestic dogs but will also infect cats and wild canids. To evaluate the potential of mosquitoes as vectors of dog heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis (Leidy) in San Joaquin County, CA, we collected mosquitoes in 2011 and analyzed for infection with heartworm by using polymerase chain reaction. Of 3,000 mosquito pools (total number of specimens ϭ 36,554), D. immitis DNA was detected in 97 pools of seven species, and the
... cies, and the overall minimum infection rate (MIR) for all mosquito species was 2.69: Culex pipiens L. (n ϭ 40; MIR ϭ 3.66), Culex tarsalis Coquillett (n ϭ 25; MIR ϭ 1.89), Culiseta incidens (Thomson) (n ϭ 11; MIR ϭ 2.81), Aedes vexans (Meigen) (n ϭ 7; MIR ϭ 2.18), Aedes melanimon Dyar (n ϭ 5; MIR ϭ 4.64), Culex erythrothorax Dyar (n ϭ 5; MIR ϭ 3.96), and Culiseta inornata (Williston) (n ϭ 4; MIR ϭ 2.65). Cx. pipiens and Cx. tarsalis had the highest number of D. immitis infections and collectively accounted for 67% of all positive pools. Ae. melanimon, Ae. vexans, and Cx. erythrothorax were found to be infected with D. immitis only in rural and agriculture areas, whereas infections in other species were identiÞed in rural and agriculture areas, and urban and residential settings. The majority of positive pools were identiÞed from June through November and peaked during August through October. This is the Þrst report of D. immitis infection in Ae. melanimon, Cx. erythrothorax, Cx. tarsalis, Cs. incidens, and Cs. inornata. The frequent detection of D. immitis in Þeld-collected Cx. pipiens and Cx. tarsalis in concert with their seasonal abundance and widespread distribution suggest a central role for these species in dog heartworm transmission. Other species, including Ae. vexans, Ae. melanimon, Cs. incidens, Cs. inornata, and Cx. erythrothorax, may play a secondary role in transmission.