Vector competence of European mosquitoes for west Nile virus

Chantal B.F. Vogels*, Giel P. Göertz, Gorben P. Pijlman, Constantianus J.M. Koenraadt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus of high medical and veterinary importance. The main vectors for WNV are mosquito species of the Culex genus that transmit WNV among birds, and occasionally to humans and horses, which are 'deadend' hosts. Recently, several studies have been published that aimed to identify the mosquito species that serve as vectors for WNV in Europe. These studies provide insight in factors that can influence vector competence of European mosquito species for WNV. Here, we review the current knowledge on vector competence of European mosquitoes for WNV, and the molecular knowledge on physical barriers, anti-viral pathways and microbes that influence vector competence based on studies with other flaviviruses. By comparing the 12 available WNV vector competence studies with European mosquitoes we evaluate the effect of factors such as temperature, mosquito origin and mosquito biotype on vector competence. In addition, we propose a standardised methodology to allow for comparative studies across Europe. Finally, we identify knowledge gaps regarding vector competence that, once addressed, will provide important insights into WNV transmission and ultimately contribute to effective strategies to control WNV.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere96
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Europe
  • Innate immune responses
  • Midgut barrier
  • Mosquito
  • Salivary gland barrier
  • Surveillance
  • Vector competence
  • West nile virus


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