Nine different arboviruses are known to be transmitted by, or associated with, mosquitoes in Europe, and several (West Nile, Sindbis and Tahyna viruses) are reported to cause outbreaks of human disease. Although there have been no reported human cases in Great Britain (GB), there have been no published in-depth serological surveys for evidence of human infection. This paper investigates the ecological and entomological factors that could influence or restrict transmission of these viruses in GB, suggesting that in addition to West Nile virus, Sindbis and Tahyna viruses could exist in enzootic cycles, and that certain ecological factors could facilitate transmission to humans. However, the level of transmission is likely to be lower than in endemic foci elsewhere in Europe due to key ecological differences related to spatial and temporal dynamics of putative mosquito vectors and presence of key reservoir hosts. Knowledge of the potential GB-specific disease ecology can aid assessments of risk from mosquito-borne arboviruses.
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