Host feeding of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) associated with the recurrence of Rift Valley fever in Egypt

Adel M. Gad, Hoda A. Farid, Reda R.M. Ramzy, Mahmoud B. Riad, Steven M. Presley, Stanton E. Cope, Mossad M. Hassan, Ali N. Hassan

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37 Scopus citations


In 1993, Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus reappeared in Egypt. We determined the prevalence and feeding patterns of mosquitoes in 5 villages where the virus was active. Of 10 species recovered, Aedes caspius (Pallas), Culex pipiens L., Cx. antennatus (Becker), and Cx. perexiguus Theobald constituted 99% of >35,000 mosquitoes captured in dry ice-baited CDC light traps. Ae. caspius was most prevalent, except at Nag' El Hagar where it was replaced by Cx. perexiguus. Cx. pipiens ranked 2nd, except at Nag' El Ghuneimiya, where it was replaced by Cx. antennatus. Most blood meals analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reacted to ≥1 antiserum. Cx. pipiens was mainly anthropophagic, and therefore may have been the main vector of RVF virus among humans. Ae. caspius feeds were chiefly from humans, bovines, and equines. Cx. antennatus and Cx. perexiguus fed generally on bovines. Mixed blood meals from humans and RVF virus susceptible animals were identified in the predominant mosquitoes. Prevalence and host selection, as well as predicted probability for a blood meal being interrupted, indicated that Ae. caspius may have served as a bridge vector between humans and bovines in 4 of the villages. Cx. perexiguus may have played this role at Nag' El Hagar. Because potential vectors are abundant, susceptible domestic animals are associated closely with humans, and surveillance of imported livestock is not systematic, we conclude that RVF virus sporadically will recur in Egypt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-714
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1999


  • Blood meal
  • Egypt
  • Mosquito
  • Rift Valley fever


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