Mosquito vectors of West Nile fever in Israel

L. Orshan*, H. Bin, H. Schnur, A. Kaufman, A. Valinsky, L. Shulman, L. Weiss, E. Mendelson, H. Pener

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


West Nile fever (WNF) is endemic in Israel. In 1999, country-wide adult mosquito surveys were initiated and intensified after the 2000 country-wide outbreak of WNF in humans. In 8 consecutive yr, groups of male and female specimens of different species and from different locations were tested for infection with West Nile virus (WNV). Three species made up >87% of the total catch: Culex pipiens L. (52%), with an infection rate (IR) of 0.5; Cx. perexiguus Theobald (20%), with an IR of 2.7; and Aedes caspius Pallas (15%), with an LR of 0.6. The geographical and temporal distribution of WNV-infected mosquitoes was similar but was not parallel to the seasonal abundance of the populations. The seasonal occurrence of human cases is in correlation with the finding of WNV-positive mosquito specimens reaching a peak 1 mo later than the mosquito peak. The relative importance of the mosquito species in the epidemiology of WNF is discussed. Cx. perexiguus is considered the major vector of WNF in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-947
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Culex perexiguus
  • Culex pipiens
  • Israel
  • Mosquitoes
  • West Nile


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