A study of the Culcoides (Diptera: ceratopogonidae) vectors of African horse sickness to enhance current practical control measures and research methods.
Jenkins, Alexander Byron.
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African horse sickness virus causes a non-contagious, infectious disease of equids. It is epizootic to sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Middle East. The epizootics caused by the virus have caused widespread devastation amongst equids worldwide. Fortunately no epizootic has lasted more than 5 years outside of sub- Saharan Africa. It is vectored by species of Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and most importantly by the two Avarita species of C. imicola Keiffer and C. bolitinos Meiswinkel. The literature pertaining to the study and research of the virus, the disease and the vectors is reviewed. Models allowing prediction of future possible outbreaks as well as details of control strategies and findings of researchers are presented and discussed. The virus needs a long term reservoir host in which to overwinter and various theories are discussed. Control measures in South Africa are suggested so that outbreaks of the disease can be reduced.
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