WEST NILE MOVING
ANCHOR LEAD: MOSQUITOES MAY BE THE PRIME MOVER WHEN IT COMES TO WEST NILE VIRUS TRANSMISSION, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
West Nile virus has been thought to be largely conveyed by birds, but now Johns Hopkins research led by Jason Rasgon has shown that the species of mosquito known as Culex tarsalis is actually the culprit.
RASGON: While some mosquitoes don’t more very far, other mosquitoes, especially the species that seem to be involved in West Nile transmission in North America, actually have the potential to move quite long distances. For whatever reason people have really never looked at the role of mosquitoes in mediating these large jumps in virus movement before and it tells us that you need to look at all of the factors that are involved in the transmission cycle, so if you want to really understand what’s going on you can’t just focus on one particular member of that transmission cycle you have to study all of the members to understand what’s going on. :31
Rasgon says people have monitored infection among mosquitos as a sentinel of disease arrival in an area for some time. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.