West Nile virus in overwintering mosquitoes, central Europe

Ivo Rudolf, Lenka Betášová, Hana Blažejová, Kristýna Venclíková, Petra Straková, Oldřich Šebesta, Jan Mendel, Tamás Bakonyi, Francis Schaffner, Norbert Nowotny*, Zdeněk Hubálek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Background: West Nile virus (WNV) is currently the most important mosquito-borne pathogen spreading in Europe. Data on overwintering of WNV in mosquitoes are crucial for understanding WNV circulation in Europe; nonetheless, such data were not available so far. Results: A total of 28,287 hibernating mosquitoes [27,872 Culex pipiens, 73 Anopheles maculipennis (sensu lato), and 342 Culiseta annulata], caught in February or March between 2011 and 2017 in a WNV-endemic region of South Moravia, Czech Republic, were screened for the presence of WNV RNA. No WNV positive pools were found from 2011 to 2016, while lineage 2 WNV RNA was detected in three pools of Culex pipens mosquitoes collected in 2017 at two study sites. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of WNV RNA in overwintering mosquitoes in Europe. The data support the hypothesis of WNV persistence in mosquitoes throughout the winter season in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number452
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2017


  • Anopheles maculipennis
  • Culex pipiens
  • Culiseta annulata
  • Czech Republic
  • Flavivirus
  • Hibernation
  • Overwintering
  • West Nile fever
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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