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Disease EcologyCommunity structure and pathogen dynamics$
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Sharon K. Collinge and Chris Ray

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567080

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567080.001.0001

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Host selection and its role in transmission of arboviral encephalitides

Host selection and its role in transmission of arboviral encephalitides

(p.73) chapter 6 Host selection and its role in transmission of arboviral encephalitides
Disease Ecology

Robert S. Unnasch

Eddie W. Cupp

Thomas R. Unnasch

Oxford University Press

Several highly virulent, arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) that cause serious human neurological diseases, such as West Nile encephalomyelitis, are transmitted by mosquitoes that feed on both wildlife and human hosts. The recent emergence of these viruses has prompted investigation into those mosquito species and wild birds that are conspicuously involved in transmission cycles. This chapter describes an innovative molecular technique used to identify the source of mosquito blood meals, which is proving to be quite useful in discerning the roles of particular vector and host species. This technique is used to determine the vectorial capacity of different mosquito species. Because species interactions are of prime importance in determining vectorial capacity, an understanding of community ecology is clearly essential for elucidating the epidemiology of vectored diseases.

Keywords:   mosquito, West Nile encephalomyelitis, arbovirus, arthropod, bird, molecular ecology, species interactions, vector, vectorial capacity, transmission

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