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Entomology and Plant Pathology

Medically Important Mosquitoes in Oklahoma

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Very few mosquitoes in Oklahoma are able to transmit diseases. Of the 60 plus species present in Oklahoma, only 7 to 10 species are considered medically important because of their pest status to people. Disease transmission by mosquitoes is complex, and being bitten by a mosquito does not mean an individual will develop an illness. If a mosquito-borne disease is detected in Oklahoma the mosquito species transmitting the disease must be identified. Control measures targeting the biology and behavior of that particular species are then implemented to reduce pest populations and prevent further disease transmission.

Most likely mosquitoes species (based on relative abundance) present in Oklahoma which could transmit the West Nile Virus:  (* Denotes species from which WNV disease isolates have been reported to CDC/Arbonet in 2002.) 

Aedes albopictus*
Culex pipiens/quinquefasciatus*
Culex restuans*
Culex salinarius*
Culex tarsalis*
Culiseta inornata*

Other vector species present in the state from which WNV has been isolated:

Aedes cinereus
Aedes vexans*
Anopheles punctipennis*
Anopheles quadrimaculatus*
Coquillettidia perturbans*
Culex nigripalpus
Culiseta melanura
Ochlerotatus canadensis
Ochlerotatus sollicitans*
Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus
Ochlerotatus triseriatus*
Ochlerotatus trivittatus*
Psorophora columbiae
Psorophora ciliata*
No disease isolates have been made as of yet from Aedes aegypti for West Nile Virus. However, this is a medically important species which has transmitted other diseases and should be suspect for WNV transmission in Oklahoma.    


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