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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 251-258

Culex gelidus: An emerging mosquito vector with potential to transmit multiple virus infections

National Institute of Virology (Indian Council of Medical Research), Pune, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr A B Sudeep
National Institute of Virology, Microbial Containment Complex (Indian Council of Medical Research), Sus Road, Pashan, Pune- 411 021
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 25540955

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Culex gelidus Theobald has emerged as a major vector of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in India, Southeast Asian countries and Australia. The species has expanded its geographic distribution from the Indian subcontinent to Japan, China, other Southeast Asian countries, Island nations in Australasian region and Australia. In recent years, a sudden increase in its population especially in the urban and sub-urban areas has been observed in several countries, thus, becoming a dominant mosquito species. The virus has been repeatedly isolated from from different geographical locations making it one of the most important vectors of JEV. Apart from JEV, other viruses of public health importance, viz. Getah, Ross River (RRV), Sindbis and Tembusu have been isolated from the mosquito. Experimental studies have shown that the mosquito Cx. qelidus is highly competent to transmit West Nile, Kunjin and Murray valley encephalitis viruses with infection and transmission rates of >80 and >50%, respectively for each virus. The species is also found competent to transmit RRV, but at a lower rate. Experimental studies have shown that the species is susceptible to chikungunya, Chandipura and Chittoor (Batai) viruses. Development of resistance to DDT and malathion has also been detected in the species recently. The invasive nature, ability to breed both in fresh and dirty waters, development of resistance to insecticides, high anthropophily and its potential to transmit important human viruses pose an increased threat of viral encephalitis in India and Oriental region especially in the light of explosive increase in its population.

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