• Epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis of West Nile virus in Ontario, Canada, 2002-2003 /

      Condotta, Stephanie Anne.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2005-06-29)
      Since the discovery of West Nile (WN) virus in the Western Hemisphere many surveillance programs have been implemented to monitor the epidemiology and genetic variation of WN virus in North America. This project was based on the WN virus Adult Mosquito Identification and Diagnostic Program conducted at Brock University for Ontario, Canada, during the 2002 and 2003 transmission seasons. There are three sections to this thesis. The first section investigated which mosquito species carry WN virus in Ontario, Canada throughout the 2002-2003 transmission seasons. It was found that from the 2002 data, eight mosquito species were detected with WN virus (Aedes vexans, Anopheles punctipennis, Coquilleltidia perlurbans, Culex salinarius, Cx. pipiens, Cx. resluans, Ochlerolalus Irivillalus and Och. Iriserialus) and 7.19% of the total mosquito pools tested were found to be WN virus positive (129 positive poolsll, 793 total pools tested). In 2003, WN virus was detected in only five mosquito species (Ae. vexans, Cx. salinarius, Och. Iriserialus, Cx. pipiens and Cx. resluans) and 1.42% of the total mosquito pools tested were WN virus positive (101 positive poolsl7,1 01 total pools tested). WN virus positive mosquito pools were detected 3-4 weeks earlier in 2002 compared to 2003 data. The second section investigated the actual infection rate (IR) of clearly identified Cx. pipiens and Cx. resluans from the 2002 outbreak. It was found that significantly more ex. resluans were infected with WN virus compared to ex. pipiens. The third section investigated the degree of variability of the WN virus genome. A 879 nucleotide section of the WN virus genome was amplified from 21 American Crows and 20 adult female mosquitoes from Ontario, Canada, and compared to the homologous region of the original New York 1999 Chilean Flamingo sequence (NY99FL). Seventy-two nucleotides from Ontario WN virus sequences showed variability compared to NY99FL with 10 synapotypic changes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a close relationship between Ontario and US WN virus sequences.