We investigated the effect of West Nile virus (WNV) infection on survival in two colonies of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) originating from Vero Beach and Gainesville, FL. Mosquitoes were fed West Nile virus-infected blood and checked daily for survival. Exposure to WNV decreased survival among Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from Gainesville relative to unexposed individuals at 31° C. In contrast, exposure to WNV enhanced survival among Cx. p. quinquefasciatus from Vero Beach relative to unexposed individuals at 27° C. These results may suggest that exposure to WNV and associated infection could increase or decrease components of fitness, dependent on environmental temperature and intraspecific variation in Cx. p. quinquefasciatus. The relationship between lifespan (time of death in days) and WNV titer differed in the colonies at 31° C and 27° C, suggesting that intraspecific species variation in response to temperature impacts interactions with WNV. While further work is needed to determine if similar effects occur under field conditions, this suggests intraspecific variation in vector competence for WNV and adult survival of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, both aspects of vectorial capacity.
- Adult lifespan
- Arbovirus infection