Skip to main content

Isolations of African horse sickness virus from vector insects made during the 1988 epizootic in Spain

  • P. S. Mellor (a1), J. Boned (a2), C. Hamblin (a1) and S. Graham (a1)

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.

Corresponding author
Dr P. S. Mellor, Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking GU24 0NF.
Hide All
1.Rafyi A. Horse sickness. Bull Off Int Epiz 1961; 56: 216–50.
2.Sellers RF, Pedgley DE, Tucker MR. Possible spread of African horse sickness on the wind. J Hyg 1977; 79: 279–88.
3.Diaz Montilla R, Panos Marti P. Epizootologia de la peste equina en Espana. Bull Off Int Epiz 1967; 68: 705–14.
4.Diaz Montilla R, Panos Marti P. La peste équine. Bull Off Int Epiz 1968; 70: 647–62.
5.Mellor PS, Boorman JPT, Wilkinson PJ, Martinez-Gomez F. Potential vectors of bluetongue and African horse sickness viruses in Spain. Vet Rec 1983; 112: 229–30.
6.Mellor PS, Jennings DM, Wilkinson PJ, Boorman JPT. Culicoides imicola: A bluetongue virus vector in Spain and Portugal. Vet Rec 1985; 116: 589–90.
7.Lubroth J. African horse sickness and the epizootic in Spain 1987. Equine Practice 1988; 10: 2633.
8.Yubero MAD. African horse sickness in Spain: Post-eradication control programme. OIE Epizootiological Information ¨a, Feb 25; No esp.
9.Yubero MAD. African horse sickness in Spain. OIE Disease Information 1988b, 21 Oct; Vol 1: No 2, p 34.
10.Yubero MAD. African horse sickness in Spain. OIE Disease Information 1988c, 4 Nov; Vol 1: No 13, p 3738.
11.Service MW. A battery-operated light-trap for sampling mosquito populations. Bull WHO 1970; 43: 635–41.
12.Youdeowei A, Service MW, eds. Pest and vector management in the tropics. London: Longman, 1983.
13.Boorman J, Mellor PS. Notes on Culicoides (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) from Sudan in relation to the epidemiology of bluetongue virus disease. Rev Elev Méd Vét Pays Trop 1982; 35: 173–8.
14.Mellor PS, Boorman J, Jennings M. The multiplication of African horse-sickness virus in two species of Culicoides (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae). Arch Virol 1975; 47: 351–6.
15.Mellor PS, Boorman J. Multiplication of bluetongue virus in Culicoides nubeculosus (Meigen) simultaneously infected with the virus and the microfilariae of Onchocerca cervicalis (Railliet and Henry). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 1980; 74: 463–9.
16.Herniman KAJ, Gumm ID, Owen L, Taylor WP, Sellers RF. Distribution of bluetongue viruses and antibodies in some countries of the Eastern Hemisphere. Bull Off Int Epiz 1980; 92: 581–6.
17.Ozawa Y, Nakata G. Experimental transmission of African horse-sickness by means of mosquitoes. Am J Vet Res 1965; 26: 744–8.
18.Ozawa Y, Nakata G, Shad-Del F, Navai S. Transmission of African horse-sickness by a species of mosquito Aedes aegypti: Linnaeus. Am J Vet Res 1966; 27: 695–7.
19.Ozawa Y, Shad-Del F, Nakata G, Navai S. Transmission of African horse-sickness by means of mosquito bites and replication of the virus in Aedes aegypti. Archives of the Institute, Razi 1970; 22: 113–22.
20.Du Toit RM. The transmission of bluetongue and horse sickness by Culicoides. Onderst J Vet Sci An Indust 1944; 19: 716.
21.Jones RH, Foster NM. Heterogeniety of Culicoides variipennis field populations to oral infection with bluetongue virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1978; 27: 178–83.
22.Jennings DM, Mellor PS. The vector potential of British Culicoides species for bluetongue virus. Vet Microbiol 1989; 17: 110.
23.Wetzel H, Nevill EM, Erasmus BJ. Studies on the transmission of African horse sickness. Onderst J Vet Res 1970; 37: 165–8.
24.Boorman J, Mellor PS, Penn M, Jennings M. The growth of African horse sickness virus in embryonated hen eggs and the transmission of virus by Culicoides variipennis Coquillett (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) Arch Virol 1975; 47: 343–9.
25.Foster NM, Jones RH, Luedke AJ. Transmission of attenuated and virulent bluetongue virus with Culicoides variipennis infected orally via sheep. Am J Vet Med 1968; 29: 275–9.
26.Mellor PS. The replication of bluetongue virus in Culicoides vectors. In: Current topics in microbiology and immunology. Bluetongue Viruses 1990; 162: 143–61.
27.Mellor PS, Pitzolis G. Observations on breeding sites and light-trap collections of Culicoides during an outbreak of bluetongue in Greece. Bull Entomol Res 1979; 69: 229–34.
28.Jennings DM, Mellor PS. Variation in the responses of Culicoides variipennis (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) to oral infection with bluetongue virus. Arch Virol 1987; 95: 177–82.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 151 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.