Investigation of Jamestown Canyon Virus Ecology in New Hampshire

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Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) is an emerging arbovirus (Peribunyavirales: Orthobunyavirus), that causes a severe neuro invasive disease in humans. Jamestown Canyon Virus Disease (JCVD) reported cases have been increasing (Pastula et al. 2015), with recent epidemics in 2017-2019 (CDC Arbonet 2022). In nature, JCV is maintained in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (Issel 1972) and in mosquitoes. In general, the biology and ecology of mosquito vectors of JCV remains poorly understood. Nationwide, there is a lack of mosquito surveillance across the regions of the USA where JCVD cases have occurred. As human cases continue to occur, many health departments and local vector control agencies remain limited in their ability to conduct crucial JCV surveillance. To address this issue in New Hampshire (NH), a state where JCV is the primary arbovirus of concern (NH arbo bulletin 2021), I collaborated with state employees in 2021 to conduct JCV vector surveillance. I investigated putative JCV vectors in the state from areas where human cases have occurred. I collected mosquitoes, ecological data and with the NH Public Health Lab (PHL), tested over 42,000 mosquitoes for JCV. I also conducted bloodmeal analysis on putative vectors. In total, I collected 12 positive pools of JCV from six mosquito species in the state. I found that snowmelt Aedes had the highest infection rates and largely fed on white-tailed deer (88.4%). Other putative vectors, such as Aedes canadensis, Coquillettidia perturbans and Anopheles punctipennis also fed on white-tailed deer (34%- 68%). My research is the first to evaluate JCV virus and vector ecology in NH, providing crucial insights to the NH PHL.

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81 pages

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Aedes canadensis; Aedes excrucians; Anopheles punctipennis; Jamestown Canyon Virus; Vector Ecology; Vector Surveillance


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Harrington, Laura C.

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Murdock, Courtney Cuinn

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M.S., Entomology

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Master of Science

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dissertation or thesis

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