Many of the viruses we study at The Pirbright Institute are spread between livestock, humans and wildlife by insects or ticks. Our Entomology Group manages and maintains insect and tick colonies in our insectary and provides scientific expertise to help us understand the transmission and ecology of the viruses that they spread.
Under National Capability we are able to offer access to these vectors and scientific expertise. The colonies available include:
- Culicoides sonorensis, a biting midge species used to investigate arbovirus infection and dissemination. This vector is competent for a wide range of arboviruses including bluetongue, African horse sickness and Schmallenberg.
- Culicoides nubeculosus, a UK species used for insecticide and repellent testing, studies of mating and host location, molecular assay standardisation and for immunological investigations in horses.
- Culex pipiens (2 lines), an extremely common and widespread mosquito species found across the UK and used in studies of vector competence, host location and insecticides.
- Ornithodoros moubata, a soft tick species used for studies of transmission of African swine fever virus.
- A Tick Cell Bio-bank which is an established collection of continuous cell lines derived from ticks of medical and veterinary importance.