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MNZooEHDVData_qPCR.csv (5 kB)

Data from: Using zoos as sentinels for re-emerging arboviruses: Vector surveillance during an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease at the Minnesota Zoo

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posted on 2024-02-14, 22:22 authored by Bethany McgregorBethany Mcgregor, Lindsey M. Reister-Hendricks, Cale Nordmeyer, Seth Stapleton, Travis M. Davis, Barbara DroletBarbara Drolet

Vector-borne disease prevalence is increasing at a time when surveillance capacity in the United States is decreasing. One way to address this surveillance deficiency is to utilize established infrastructure, such as zoological parks, to investigate animal disease outbreaks and improve our epidemiological understanding of vector-borne pathogens. During fall 2020, an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) at the Minnesota Zoo resulted in morbidity and seroconversion of several collection animals. In response to this outbreak, insect surveillance was conducted, and the collected insects were tested for the presence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) by RT-qPCR to better understand the local transmitting vector populations responsible for the outbreak. Six pools of Culicoides biting midges were positive for EHDV, including three pools of Culicoides sonorensis, two pools of Culicoides variipennis, and a pool of degraded C. variipennis complex midges. All three endemic serotypes of EHDV (1, 2, and 6) were detected in both animals and midge pools from the premises. Despite this outbreak, no EHDV cases had been reported in wild animals near the zoo. This highlights the importance and utility of using animal holding facilities, such as zoos, as sentinels to better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of pathogen transmission.


USDA-ARS: 3020-32000-010-00D

USDA-ARS: 3020-32000-020-00D

State of Minnesota general appropriation to the Minnesota Zoo


Data contact name

McGregor, Bethany L.

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

These data are intended to be used to understand the Culicoides biting midge community present, the Culicoides species that were found to contain epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) viral RNA, and the EHDV viral serotypes detected during an active EHDV outbreak at a zoological park in Minnesota.

Use limitations

The presence of EHDV RNA in these two species cannot be used as proof of vector competence. Culicoides sonorensis is a confirmed vector of EHDV, but Culicoides variipennis still cannot be considered a competent vector until further studies are conducted validating its ability to become infected with and transmit EHDV in a lab. It is also possible that some of the specimens in this study were actually Culicoides albertensis, a sister species to both Culicoides sonorensis and Culicoides variipennis that was recently re-elevated to species status.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • irregular

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN and the area immediately surrounding its perimeter fence. Geographic points provided indicate the extent of the Zoo property. Specific exhibit and animal location information is not included at the request of the Minnesota Zoo. Coordinates: 44.775827N, 93.204440W 44.777581N, 93.187814W 44.764937N, 93.198091W 44.764827N, 93.207156W

ISO Topic Category

  • biota

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

zoos; arboviruses; monitoring; epizootic hemorrhagic disease; Minnesota; vector-borne diseases; disease prevalence; animal diseases; disease outbreaks; pathogens; autumn; morbidity; seroconversion; Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus; quantitative polymerase chain reaction; reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction; Culicoides sonorensis; Culicoides variipennis; midges; serotypes; wild animals; disease transmission; RNA; vector competence

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 103

ARIS Log Number


Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

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