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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Role of Culex and Anopheles mosquito species as potential vectors of rift valley fever virus in Sudan outbreak, 2007

AlaaEddeen M Seufi* and Fatma H Galal

Author Affiliations

Department of Entomology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt, 12211

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:65  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-65

Published: 11 March 2010



Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an acute febrile arthropod-borne viral disease of man and animals caused by a member of the Phlebovirus genus, one of the five genera in the family Bunyaviridae. RVF virus (RVFV) is transmitted between animals and human by mosquitoes, particularly those belonging to the Culex, Anopheles and Aedes genera.


Experiments were designed during RVF outbreak, 2007 in Sudan to provide an answer about many raised questions about the estimated role of vector in RVFV epidemiology. During this study, adult and immature mosquito species were collected from Khartoum and White Nile states, identified and species abundance was calculated. All samples were frozen individually for further virus detection. Total RNA was extracted from individual insects and RVF virus was detected from Culex, Anopheles and Aedes species using RT-PCR. In addition, data were collected about human cases up to November 24th, 2007 to asses the situation of the disease in affected states. Furthermore, a historical background of the RVF outbreaks was discussed in relation to global climatic anomalies and incriminated vector species.


A total of 978 mosquitoes, belonging to 3 genera and 7 species, were collected during Sudan outbreak, 2007. Anopheles gambiae arabiensis was the most frequent species (80.7%) in White Nile state. Meanwhile, Cx. pipiens complex was the most abundant species (91.2%) in Khartoum state. RT-PCR was used and successfully amplified 551 bp within the M segment of the tripartite negative-sense single stranded RNA genome of RVFV. The virus was detected in female, male and larval stages of Culex and Anopheles species. The most affected human age interval was 15-29 years old followed by ≥ 45 years old, 30-44 years old, and then 5-14 years old. Regarding to the profession, housewives followed by farmers, students, shepherd, workers and the free were more vulnerable to the infection. Furthermore, connection between human and entomological studies results in important human case-vulnerability relatedness findings.


Model performance, integrated with epidemiologic and environmental surveillance systems should be assessed systematically for RVF and other mosquito-borne diseases using historical epidemiologic and satellite monitoring data. Case management related interventions; health education and vector control efforts are extremely effective in preparedness for viral hemorrhagic fever and other seasonal outbreaks.