A curious coincidence: mosquito biodiversity and the limits of the Japanese encephalitis virus in Australasia

Biomed Central Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2007, 7 (100), pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
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The mosquito Culex annulirostris Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae) is the major vector of endemic arboviruses in Australia and is also responsible for the establishment of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in southern Papua New guinea (PNG) as well as its incursions into northern Australia. papua New Guinea and mainland Australia are separated by a small stretch of water, the Torres Strait, and its islands. While there has need regular JEV activity on these islands, JEV has not established on mainland Australia despite an abundance of Cx annulirostris and porcine amplyfying hosts. Despite the public health significance of this mosquito and the fect that its adults show overlapping morphology with close relative Cx palpalis Taylor, its evolution and genetic structure remain undertermined. We address a hypothesis that there is significant genetic diversity in Cx. annulirostris and that the identification of this diversity will shed light on the paradox that JEV can cycle on an island 70km from maniland Australia while not establishing in Australian itself.
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