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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 15, 2017

Abundance and species composition of Culicoides spp. biting midges near cattle and horse in South-Eastern Poland

Magdalena Larska, Maria Grochowska, Lech Lechowski and Jan Franciszek Żmudziński
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


The aim of the study was to estimate and compare the distribution of Culicoides biting midges species at farms with different main hosts – cattle and horse. Culicoides spp. are known vectors of arboviruses including African horse sickness virus (AHSV), bluetongue virus (BTV) and Schmallenberg virus (SBV). The latter two have been already reported in Polish ruminants recently, while AHSV remains absent, however the risk of its emergence has been increasing in the recent years. In order to establish the activity of potential AHSV vector at vicinity of horses, an OVI midge trap has been placed at the horse stables in the southeastern Poland. Another trap has been placed 7 km away at the cattle farm. The collections were carried over the midge activity season from April until November 2016. The midge abundances at both sites were comparable with the total numbers of insects trapped of 43,153 and 34,829 at the cattle and horse farm, respectively. Midges belonging to C. obsoletus/scoticus complex were the dominant ones at both locations. The other most abundant species were C. punctatus and C. pulicaris, while the other ten species identified (C. chiopterus, C. deltus, C. dewulfi, C. fagineus, C. impunctatus, C. newsteadi, C. nubeculosus, C. parroti, C. riethi, C. stigma) accounted for less than 0.5%. The study has shown that the Orbivirus vectors are present at a high abundance at the Polish horse farm, what may be a helpful tool in the AHS risk assessment in the nonendemic part of Europe.


The midge trapping at the cattle farm as a part of BTV vector monitoring program has been funded by the Chief Veterinary Office. The collections of Culicoides from the horse farm was funded by VectorNet a European network for sharing data on the geographic distribution of arthropod vectors, transmitting human and animal disease agents (Subcontract for field work) funded by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).


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Received: 2017-5-8
Revised: 2017-7-18
Accepted: 2017-7-20
Published Online: 2017-10-15
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

© 2017 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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