This paper describes the first isolations of African horse sickness virus (AHSV) from insects in Spain. Seven isolations of AHSV serotype 4 were made; four from Culicoides imicola a known vector of the virus elsewhere, two from mixed pools of Culicoides species not including C. imicola and one from blood engorged mosquitoes. Three further isolations of AHSV serotype 4 were also made from horses kept adjacent to the insect collecting sites.
This work presents the first definitive identification of the vectors of AHSV in Spain during the 1987, 88 and 89 epizootics. Suggestions are also made concerning the significance of these findings with regard to the epidemiology of African horse sickness in Spain.
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