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The Mondrian matrix: Culicoides biting midge abundance and seasonal incidence during the 2006–2008 epidemic of bluetongue in the Netherlands

Authors

  • R. MEISWINKEL,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology, Crisis Organization and Diagnostics, Central Veterinary Institute, Part of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Lelystad, The Netherlands
    2. National Plant Protection Organisation, Wageningen, The Netherlands
    • Correspondence: Rudy Meiswinkel, via dei Mulini 28, 64100 Teramo, Italy. Tel.: +39 340 609 5600; E-mail: ruwinkel@gmail.com

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  • F. SCOLAMACCHIA,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Crisis Organization and Diagnostics, Central Veterinary Institute, Part of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Lelystad, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Farm Animal Health, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • M. DIK,

    1. National Plant Protection Organisation, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • J. MUDDE,

    1. National Plant Protection Organisation, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • E. DIJKSTRA,

    1. National Plant Protection Organisation, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • I. J. K. VAN DER VEN,

    1. National Plant Protection Organisation, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • A. R. W. ELBERS

    1. Department of Epidemiology, Crisis Organization and Diagnostics, Central Veterinary Institute, Part of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Lelystad, The Netherlands
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Abstract

During the northern Europe epidemic of bluetongue (BT), Onderstepoort-type blacklight traps were used to capture Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges weekly between November 2006 and December 2008 on 21 livestock farms in the Netherlands. Proven and potential vectors for the bluetongue virus (BTV) comprised almost 80% of the midges collected: the Obsoletus complex, constituting C. obsoletus (Meigen) and C. scoticus Downes & Kettle (44.2%), C. dewulfi Goetghebuer (16.4%), C. chiopterus (Meigen) (16.3%) and C. pulicaris (Linnaeus) (0.1%). Half of the 24 commonest species of Culicoides captured completed only one (univoltine) or two (bivoltine) generations annually, whereas multivoltine species (including all BTV vectors) cycled through five to six generations (exceeding the one to four generations calculated in earlier decades). Whether this increment signals a change in the phenology of northern Europe Culicoides or simply is an adaptive response that manifests during warmer episodes, thus heightening periodically the incursive potential of midge-borne arboviruses, remains to be clarified. Culicoides duddingstoni Kettle & Lawson, C. grisescens Edwards, C. maritimus Kieffer, C. pallidicornis Kieffer and C. riethi Kieffer are new records for the biting midge fauna of the Netherlands. It is suggested that C. punctatus (Meigen) be added to the European list of vector Culicoides.

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