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Spatial and Seasonal Distribution of Culicoides Species in Morocco in Relation to the Transmission of Bluetongue Viruses

Spatial and Seasonal Distribution of Culicoides Species in Morocco in Relation to the Transmission of Bluetongue Viruses

Youssef Lhor1*, Mounir Khayli1, Mohamed Bouslikhane2, Mehdi El Harrak3, Ouafaa Fassi Fihri2

Email: y.lhor@yahoo.fr

1National Office of Food Safety (ONSSA), Rabat, Morocco; 2Pathology and Veterinary Public Health Department, Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco; 3OIE Expert.

ABSTRACT

The present study was undertaken to examine the data collected from a retrospective surveillance of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midge vectors from April 2009 to March 2010 in Morocco. In order to assess the implementation of integrated control measures and disease risk analysis, this entomological survey was performed on the risk of transmission of bluetongue virus (BTV) and identification of the main breeding sites of Culicoides. From April 2009 to March 2010, the study was carried out at 14 sites distributed across the country. Results indicated that the two most abundant Culicoides species were Culicoides imicola (94.2-95.85%) and Culicoides newsteidi (2.21-2.72%). The rate of prevalence of these species was bi-phasic and higher from April to June, and October to November 2009. Interestingly, the infectivity rate of BTV was also higher during these periods indicating that high risk of infection is directly proportional to that of transmission vectors. Moreover, results demonstrate that the life stage “bumper” of the female imicola is the indicator of the infecting activity of C. imicola. Collectively, the distribution patterns and emergence of BT can be predicted by the abundance of the Culicoides species in a specified locality so that control measures
can be implemented well in time to contain the disease spread.

 

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Hosts and Viruses

June

Vol.6, Iss.3, Pages 42-84

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