Some example of breeding sites for certain
Culicoides is a genus of biting midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. The female midges require blood meals for egg production. There are over 1000 species in the genus, which is divided into many subgenera. Several species are known to be vector of many diseases and parasites, which can affect animals. As vectors of viruses, Culicoides species are of the higher veterinary importance. More than 75 arboviruses, belonging to Bunyaviridae, Reoviridae and Rabdoviridae families, were isolated from different Culicoides species. In Mediterranean region, the principal vector of Bluetongue virus is represented by Culicoides imicola, and also other European Culicoides biting midges are implicated in virus transmission. Despite the virulence of these species and his colonisation in Tunisia, they are still considered as neglected area due to the rarity or the absence of programmes to control these biting midges. Thus, the available data on species composition, dominant species, breeding sites and host preferences are urgently needed to better understand these biting midges and to develop reliable tools to prevent the spread of other diseases that threaten human and animal life.
- biting midges
- geographical distribution
The development cycle of
The bites of females species of
The aim of this chapter is to review epidemiological features of
2. Life cycle of
The eggs are usually about 400–500 µm in length. They are laid in wet soil in boggy flushes, mires and in the transition zone at the edge of bogs. The eggs have an elongate, curved and pointed form at each end. Concerning the number of eggs produced, this later varies among species and also size of blood meal. It seems agreed that a blood meal is important in the egg laying in
The larvae are vermiform, usually pale. They have a distinct head capsule with toothed mandibles and eyespots. There are three thoracic and nine abdominal segments. The larvae are narrow and worm-like, and they live in the soil. Neverthless, the larvae of some species are omnivorous, and their diet includes small animals such as Nematodes, other insect larvae, fungi and parts of plants. They grow slowly when compared to some other species in the genus, due to the nutrient-poor soil . According to
|Cow dung rich in organic material, grassed margins of streams, muddy habitats||[11–15]|
|Edges of waste water, irrigation run off in pasture, puddles, trough spillover||[16–18]|
|Cattle dung||[19, 20]|
|Paddy fields, stream edges, pond margins||[20, 21]|
|Cattle dung, cowshed, dried dung on the walls of the building, leaf compost, tree holes||[22–26]|
|high soil moisture, cattle dung breeders|||
|Ponds and river margins, rich organic matter, soils poor in organic matter, unpolluted sites, grass covered pool||[12, 15, 28, 29, 31]|
|Mud in drainage channels rich in organic matter, mud fringing a salt lake, unvegetated pond, shorelines of the unvegetated pond and the grass covered pool moist||[12, 15, 29]|
|Puddles of water contaminated withy animal excreta, inundated soils||[15, 28]|
|Breeding in shallow, brackish pools, lined with decaying vegetable material|||
|Mud near irrigation channel|||
|Mud rich in dying near the water reservoirs and in mud from swap, organic matter|||
|Sites rich in organic matter, mud rich of dung near water reservoirs and mud from swamps and less in mud from reed sites areas||[11, 33]|
|Mud with poor organic matter alongside streams, mud from around dams, mud from reed sites|||
|Rich organic matter, mud swamps contaminated by feces of poultry animals, mud rich in dung near water reservoirs||[33, 34]|
The pupal stage is formed in the same site as the last larval stage. Pupal colour can be pale yellow to light brown. They are 2–5 mm in length with an unsegmented cephalothorax that has a pair of respiratory horns that may bear spines or wrinkles. The pupae of most
3. Disease transmission and distribution of
3.1. Disease transmission
Biting midges of the genus,
In the context of pathogen transmission to or between humans,
It is noteworthy that biologically transmitted
|BTV||AHSV||EHDV||EEV||OROV||Vesicular stomatitis Indiana||West Nile||Mansonella ozzardi||M. perstans||M. streptocerca||Onchocerca cervicalis||Onchocerca gibsoni||Onchocerca reticulata||Haemoprote-us||Plasmodium||Leucocytozoon||Hepatocystis||Leishmania|
|x||x||x||x||[1, 40, 42, 43]|
4. Distribution of
In Tunisia, first incursion of BTV dates from 1999 (serotype 2), where the autumn was characterised by high temperatures and heavy rain. This weather created favourable conditions for BTV vector activity. It is noteworthy that the optimum conditions for activity of these biting midges are temperatures of 18–29°C and high humidity . During this first incursion, severe clinical signs were observed in affected sheep: high temperature (41–42°C), nasal discharge, salivation, oedema and congestion of the head and the mucous membranes. Affected sheep flocks were located in the eastern part of Tunisia along the cost. The overall morbidity and mortality rates were 8, 35% and 5, 5%, respectively. In 2000, 72 outbreaks of BT were reported during the period extending from June to October. Indeed, 6120 clinical cases were diagnosed in sheep, of which 1318 died. Moreover, outbreaks were reported in 10 districts with most cases appeared in the eastern and central parts of the country .
In total, three serotypes of BTV were reported in Tunisia: serotype 1, 2 and 4. Figure 4 shows the distribution of BTV serotype in Tunisia.
Since the epizootic of vector-borne disease (AHS in 1966 and BT in 1999) in Tunisia, the veterinary authorities of the region have implemented surveillance programmes to detect and identify the presence and the distribution of the known vectors of disease, notwithstanding that fewer studies have been made in comparison with other Mediterranean countries. Indeed, in 1981, a study of  reported that the presence of 22
5. Tools for
Culicoides species identification
The most common method of
Another molecular technique (matrix-assissted laser desorption/ionisation time of flight mass spectrometry, MALDI-TOF MS) has proven its benefits for rapid, simple and cost-effective characterisation and identification of biting midges .
Despite the fact that the epidemiological studies realised till now,
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