Evaluation of a novel West Nile virus transmission control strategy that targets Culex tarsalis with endectocide-containing blood meals.

Abstract:

:Control of arbovirus transmission remains focused on vector control through application of insecticides directly to the environment. However, these insecticide applications are often reactive interventions that can be poorly-targeted, inadequate for localized control during outbreaks, and opposed due to environmental and toxicity concerns. In this study, we developed endectocide-treated feed as a systemic endectocide for birds to target blood feeding Culex tarsalis, the primary West Nile virus (WNV) bridge vector in the western United States, and conducted preliminary tests on the effects of deploying this feed in the field. In lab tests, ivermectin (IVM) was the most effective endectocide tested against Cx. tarsalis and WNV-infection did not influence mosquito mortality from IVM. Chickens and wild Eurasian collared doves exhibited no signs of toxicity when fed solely on bird feed treated with concentrations up to 200 mg IVM/kg of diet, and significantly more Cx. tarsalis that blood fed on these birds died (greater than 80% mortality) compared to controls (less than 25% mortality). Mosquito mortality following blood feeding correlated with IVM serum concentrations at the time of blood feeding, which dropped rapidly after the withdrawal of treated feed. Preliminary field testing over one WNV season in Fort Collins, Colorado demonstrated that nearly all birds captured around treated bird feeders had detectable levels of IVM in their blood. However, entomological data showed that WNV transmission was non-significantly reduced around treated bird feeders. With further development, deployment of ivermectin-treated bird feed might be an effective, localized WNV transmission control tool.

journal_name

PLoS Negl Trop Dis

authors

Nguyen C,Gray M,Burton TA,Foy SL,Foster JR,Gendernalik AL,Rückert C,Alout H,Young MC,Boze B,Ebel GD,Clapsaddle B,Foy BD

doi

10.1371/journal.pntd.0007210

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-03-07 00:00:00

pages

e0007210

issue

3

eissn

1935-2727

issn

1935-2735

pii

PNTD-D-18-01211

journal_volume

13

pub_type

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