Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Goudarz Molaei


As the primary vector for the West Nile virus in the United States, members of the Culex pipiens complex have caused illnesses and deaths in the human population since its discovery in 1937. The potential contribution of Cx. pipiens to transmission and enzootic amplification of WNV can be influenced by multiple aspects, including their interactions with various vertebrate hosts as an important factor. By using blood meal analysis and virus testing, this study further investigated the role of Cx. pipiens in WNV transmission and amplification. With 91% of blood meals identified from avian species, birds remain the most frequent source of blood meals for Cx. pipiens. However, the primarily ornithophilic Cx. pipiens also obtained blood meals from mammals (4.6%) and reptiles (0.4%), albeit at lower frequencies. This study also found 4.3% of mixed avian and mammalian blood meals from Cx. pipiens, indicating the possibility of their contribution to the epidemic and epizootic transmission of WNV while maintaining enzootic cycles.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access