Seasonal abundance and molecular identification of West Nile virus vectors, Culex pipens and Culex quinquefasciatus (diptera: culicidae) in Abeokuta, South-West, Nigeria
Background: West Nile virus (WNV) infection, is an arbovirus infection with high morbidity and mortality, the vector responsible for both human and animal transmission is Culex pipens complex.
Objective: To determine the species distribution and seasonal abundance of Culex pipens and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Methods: Mosquitoes belonging to the Culex pipens complex were captured in three different locations located within Abeokuta Metropolis between March 2012 and January 2013. Individual species were identified using morphometric methods. Amplification of the Ace2 gene by PCR confirmed morphormetric identification of the mosquitoes.
Results: A total of 751 mosquitoes were captured. Culex quinquefaciatus recorded the highest distribution of vectors with 56.6% and Culex pipens 43.4% (P > 0.05). Idi aba community recorded the highest distribution of mosquito vectors with 42.9% (n=322) and Culex quinqueaciatus was more abundantly distributed with 183 mosquitoes. Aro community recorded 32% (n=240) of captured mosquitoes with Culex quinquefaciatus having a higher level of abundance and lastly Kemta with a distribution of 25.1% (n=189).
Conclusion: Results from this study show that potential vectors of WNV abound within Abeokuta, putting residents at high risk of West Nile infection. We advocate for introduction of routine testing of WNV in Abeokuta and Nigeria.
Keywords: West Nile Virus, Culex pipens complex, PCR, Abeokuta