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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/n870zs81q

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  • Background: Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus (Togaviridae, Alphavirus) is a highly pathogenic mosquito-borne zoonosis that is responsible for occasional outbreaks of severe disease in humans and equines, resulting in high mortality and neurological impairment in most survivors. In the past, human disease outbreaks in the northeastern U.S. have occurred intermittently with no apparent pattern; however, during the last decade we have witnessed recurring annual emergence where EEE virus activity had been historically rare, and expansion into northern New England where the virus had been previously unknown. In the northeastern U.S., EEE virus is maintained in an enzootic cycle involving the ornithophagic mosquito, Culiseta melanura, and wild passerine (perching) birds in freshwater hardwood swamps. However, the identity of key avian species that serve as principal virus reservoir and amplification hosts has not been established. The efficiency with which pathogen transmission occurs within an avian community is largely determined by the relative reservoir competence of each species and by ecological factors that influence contact rates between these avian hosts and mosquito vectors. Methodology and principle findings: Contacts between vector mosquitoes and potential avian hosts may be directly quantified by analyzing the blood meal contents of field-collected specimens. We used PCR-based molecular methods and direct sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene for profiling of blood meals in Cs. melanura, in an effort to quantify its feeding behavior on specific vertebrate hosts, and to infer epidemiologic implications in four historic EEE virus foci in the northeastern U.S. Avian point count surveys were conducted to determine spatiotemporal host community composition. Of 1,127 blood meals successfully identified to species level, >99% of blood meals were from 65 avian hosts in 27 families and 11 orders, and only seven were from mammalian hosts representing three species. We developed an empirically informed mathematical model for EEE virus transmission using Cs. melanura abundance and preferred and non-preferred avian hosts. To our knowledge this is the first mathematical model for EEE virus, a pathogen with many potential hosts, in the northeastern U.S. We measured strong feeding preferences for a number of avian species based on the proportion of mosquito blood meals identified from these bird species in relation to their observed frequencies. These included: American Robin, Tufted Titmouse, Common Grackle, Wood Thrush, Chipping Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, and Warbling Vireo. We found that these bird species, most notably Wood Thrush, play a dominant role in supporting EEE virus amplification. It is also noteworthy that the competence of some of the aforementioned avian species for EEE virus has not been established. Our findings indicate that heterogeneity induced by mosquito host preference, is a key mediator of the epizootic transmission of vector-borne pathogens. Conclusion and significance: Detailed knowledge of the vector-host interactions of mosquito populations in nature is essential for evaluating their vectorial capacity and for assessing the role of individual vertebrates as reservoir hosts involved in the maintenance and amplification of zoonotic agents of human diseases. Our study clarifies the host associations of Cs. melanura in four EEE virus foci in the northeastern U.S., identifies vector host preferences as the most important transmission parameter, and quantifies the contribution of preference-induced contact heterogeneity to enzootic transmission. Our study identifies Wood Thrush, American Robin and a few avian species that may serve as superspreaders of EEE virus. Our study elucidates spatiotemporal host species utilization by Cs. melanura in relation to avian host community. This research provides a basis to better understand the involvement of Cs. melanura and avian hosts in the transmission and ecology of EEE virus and the risk of human infection in virus foci.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Patricia Black (patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2016-04-25T15:13:05Z No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) MolaeiDynamicsVectorHost.PDF: 6595233 bytes, checksum: fcb68c88fe4ea6dfaf2d2f3e0be38397 (MD5) MolaeiDynamicsVectorHostSupportingInfo.pdf: 482480 bytes, checksum: 5e2840753ee42d22131da5ad9397412e (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2016-04-25T15:13:46Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) MolaeiDynamicsVectorHost.PDF: 6595233 bytes, checksum: fcb68c88fe4ea6dfaf2d2f3e0be38397 (MD5) MolaeiDynamicsVectorHostSupportingInfo.pdf: 482480 bytes, checksum: 5e2840753ee42d22131da5ad9397412e (MD5) Previous issue date: 2016-01
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2016-04-25T15:13:46Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) MolaeiDynamicsVectorHost.PDF: 6595233 bytes, checksum: fcb68c88fe4ea6dfaf2d2f3e0be38397 (MD5) MolaeiDynamicsVectorHostSupportingInfo.pdf: 482480 bytes, checksum: 5e2840753ee42d22131da5ad9397412e (MD5)

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