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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)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2009

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.
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6.PS Mellor , DM Jennings , PJ Wilkinson , JPT Boorman . Culicoides imicola: A bluetongue virus vector in Spain and Portugal. Vet Rec 1985; 116: 589–90.

14.PS Mellor , J Boorman , M Jennings . The multiplication of African horse-sickness virus in two species of Culicoides (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae). Arch Virol 1975; 47: 351–6.

15.PS Mellor , J Boorman . 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.

22.DM Jennings , PS Mellor . The vector potential of British Culicoides species for bluetongue virus. Vet Microbiol 1989; 17: 110.

24.J Boorman , PS Mellor , M Penn , M Jennings . 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.

28.DM Jennings , PS Mellor . Variation in the responses of Culicoides variipennis (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) to oral infection with bluetongue virus. Arch Virol 1987; 95: 177–82.

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Epidemiology & Infection
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