EpiWestNileMosq - Determination of the role of mosquito vectors and other factors on West Nile Virus transmission
The objectives of the project include:
1) The evaluation of the potential drivers of WNV transmission in Spain using Machine Learning algorithms. Then, we will use that knowledge to identify the areas and periods at risk of WNV transmission in Spain including the areas at risk of zoonotic transmission.
2) The determination of the ability of two mosquito species, Cx. pipiens and Cx. perexiguus, present in Andalusia, to transmit the WNVsisolated in Spain, both lineage 1 and 2 strains, which is essential to better evaluate the risk in this area.
3) The assessment of the capacity of WNV lineage 2 to overwinter in Cx. pipiens mosquitoes by vertical transmission and horizontal transmission after diapause, and elucidate if WNV lineage 2 has overwintered in Catalonia the last years by phylogenetic analysis.
4) The evaluation of the ability of a mosquito-specific virus (Spanish Culex Flavivirus) to alter the vector competence of a Spanish Cx.pipiens population for WNV, which it may be used as potential WNV control tool in mosquito vectors. .Vector competence studies involving mosquito vectors and WNV will be carried out at IRTA-CReSA where level-3 biosafety laboratories and insectary facilities are available.