Publications by authors named "Alexander G C Vaux"

25 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the Royal Parks of London, UK.

Exp Appl Acarol 2021 Jul 14;84(3):593-606. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology, Emergency Response Department Science & Technology, Public Health England, Porton Down, UK.

Assessing the risk of tick-borne disease in areas with high visitor numbers is important from a public health perspective. Evidence suggests that tick presence, density, infection prevalence and the density of infected ticks can vary between habitats within urban green space, suggesting that the risk of Lyme borreliosis transmission can also vary. This study assessed nymph density, Borrelia prevalence and the density of infected nymphs across a range of habitat types in nine parks in London which receive millions of visitors each year. Ixodes ricinus were found in only two of the nine locations sampled, and here they were found in all types of habitat surveyed. Established I. ricinus populations were identified in the two largest parks, both of which had resident free-roaming deer populations. Highest densities of nymphs (15.68 per 100 m) and infected nymphs (1.22 per 100 m) were associated with woodland and under canopy habitats in Richmond Park, but ticks infected with Borrelia were found across all habitat types surveyed. Nymphs infected with Borrelia (7.9%) were only reported from Richmond Park, where Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii were identified as the dominant genospecies. Areas with short grass appeared to be less suitable for ticks and maintaining short grass in high footfall areas could be a good strategy for reducing the risk of Lyme borreliosis transmission to humans in such settings. In areas where this would create conflict with existing practices which aim to improve and/or meet historic landscape, biodiversity and public access goals, promoting public health awareness of tick-borne disease risks could also be utilised.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-021-00633-3DOI Listing
July 2021

Update on the presence of Ixodes ricinus at the western limit of its range and the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2020 11 24;11(6):101518. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Medical Entomology Group, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Salisbury, UK.

It is often suggested that due to climate and environmental policy changes, the risk from tick-borne disease is increasing, particularly at the geographical limits of the vector distribution. Our project aimed to determine whether this was true for the risk of Lyme borreliosis in Ireland which is the western-most limit of Ixodes ricinus, the European vector of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. The availability of a historical data set of tick infection rates compiled in the 1990s represented a unique opportunity as it provided a baseline against which current data could be compared. Following construction of a spatial predictive model for the presence and absence of I. ricinus based on data from 491 GPS locations visited between 2016 and 2019, 1404 questing nymphs from 27 sites were screened for the presence of Borrelia spp. using a TaqMan PCR aimed at the 23S rRNA gene sequence. All positive ticks were further analysed by nested PCR amplification and sequence analysis of the 5 S-23 S intergenic spacer. The model indicated that areas with the highest probability of tick presence were mostly located along the western seaboard and the Shannon and Erne river catchments, coinciding with historical high incidence areas of bovine babesiosis, while the infection rate of questing nymphs with B. burgdorferi s.l. and the prevalence of the various genospecies have remained surprisingly stable over the last 3 decades. Clear communication of the potential disease risk arising from a tick bite is essential in order to allay undue concerns over tick-borne diseases among the general public.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101518DOI Listing
November 2020

Working towards a Co-Ordinated Approach to Invasive Mosquito Detection, Response and Control in the UK.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 07 17;17(14). Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Medical Entomology and Zoonoses Ecology Group, Emergency Response Department Science and Technology, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG, UK.

The United Kingdom (UK) has reported a single detection of the eggs of the invasive mosquito vector in each of the three years from 2016 to 2018, all in southeast England. Here, we report the detection of mosquito eggs on three occasions at two sites in London and southeast England in September 2019. Mosquito traps were deployed at 56 sites, in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as part of a coordinated surveillance programme with local authorities, Edge Hill University, and government departments. Response to each detection was coordinated by Public Health England's (PHE) local health protection teams, with technical support from PHE's Medical Entomology group, and control conducted by the respective local authority. Control, including source reduction and larviciding, was conducted within a 300 metre radius of the positive site. The response followed a . Although the response to these incidents was rapid and well co-ordinated, recommendations are made to further develop mosquito surveillance and control capability for the UK.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400339PMC
July 2020

Detection of Exotic Mosquito Species (Diptera: Culicidae) at International Airports in Europe.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 05 15;17(10). Epub 2020 May 15.

Centre for Monitoring of Vectors, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, Geertjesweg 15, 6706 EA Wageningen, The Netherlands.

In Europe, the air-borne accidental introduction of exotic mosquito species (EMS) has been demonstrated using mosquito surveillance schemes at Schiphol International Airport (Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Based upon these findings and given the increasing volume of air transport movements per year, the establishment of EMS after introduction via aircraft is being considered a potential risk. Here we present the airport surveillance results performed by the Centre for Monitoring of Vectors of the Netherlands, by the Monitoring of Exotic Mosquitoes (MEMO) project in Belgium, and by the Public Health England project on invasive mosquito surveillance. The findings of our study demonstrate the aircraft mediated transport of EMS into Europe from a wide range of possible areas in the world. Results show accidental introductions of and , as well as exotic and specimens. The findings of at Schiphol airport are the first evidence of accidental introduction of the species using this pathway in Europe. Furthermore, our results stress the importance of the use of molecular tools to validate the morphology-based species identifications. We recommend monitoring of EMS at airports with special attention to locations with a high movement of cargo and passengers.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103450DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277938PMC
May 2020

Invasive non-native species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Jan 13. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Medical Entomology Group, Emergency Response Science & Technology, Public Health England, Salisbury, UK.

The Antarctic is considered to be a pristine environment relative to other regions of the Earth, but it is increasingly vulnerable to invasions by marine, freshwater and terrestrial non-native species. The Antarctic Peninsula region (APR), which encompasses the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands, is by far the most invaded part of the Antarctica continent. The risk of introduction of invasive non-native species to the APR is likely to increase with predicted increases in the intensity, diversity and distribution of human activities. Parties that are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty have called for regional assessments of non-native species risk. In response, taxonomic and Antarctic experts undertook a horizon scanning exercise using expert opinion and consensus approaches to identify the species that are likely to present the highest risk to biodiversity and ecosystems within the APR over the next 10 years. One hundred and three species, currently absent in the APR, were identified as relevant for review, with 13 species identified as presenting a high risk of invading the APR. Marine invertebrates dominated the list of highest risk species, with flowering plants and terrestrial invertebrates also represented; however, vertebrate species were thought unlikely to establish in the APR within the 10 year timeframe. We recommend (a) the further development and application of biosecurity measures by all stakeholders active in the APR, including surveillance for species such as those identified during this horizon scanning exercise, and (b) use of this methodology across the other regions of Antarctica. Without the application of appropriate biosecurity measures, rates of introductions and invasions within the APR are likely to increase, resulting in negative consequences for the biodiversity of the whole continent, as introduced species establish and spread further due to climate change and increasing human activity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14938DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7154743PMC
January 2020

Assessment of the Public Health Threats Posed by Vector-Borne Disease in the United Kingdom (UK).

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 09 29;15(10). Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Medical Entomology Group, Public Health England, Emergency Response Department, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG, UK.

In recent years, the known distribution of vector-borne diseases in Europe has changed, with much new information also available now on the status of vectors in the United Kingdom (UK). For example, in 2016, the UK reported their first detection of the non-native mosquito , which is a known vector for dengue and chikungunya virus. In 2010, , a principal mosquito vector for West Nile virus was detected in large numbers in the Thames estuary. For tick-borne diseases, data on the changing distribution of the Lyme borreliosis tick vector, , has recently been published, at a time when there has been an increase in the numbers of reported human cases of Lyme disease. This paper brings together the latest surveillance data and pertinent research on vector-borne disease in the UK, and its relevance to public health. It highlights the need for continued vector surveillance systems to monitor our native mosquito and tick fauna, as well as the need to expand surveillance for invasive species. It illustrates the importance of maintaining surveillance capacity that is sufficient to ensure accurate and timely disease risk assessment to help mitigate the UK's changing emerging infectious disease risks, especially in a time of climatic and environmental change and increasing global connectivity.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6210260PMC
September 2018

The mosquito in England.

Vet Rec 2017 09;181(9):243

Norfolk Museums Service, Shirehall, Market Avenue, Norwich NR1 3JQe-mail:

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.j4048DOI Listing
September 2017

(Eckstein, 1918) (Diptera, Culicidae), a new country record for England, contrasted with (Meigen, 1838).

Zookeys 2017 27(671):119-130. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology group, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 0JG, UK.

We report the discovery of (Eckstein, 1918) in the New Forest of southern England, bringing to 36 the number of mosquito species recorded in Britain. Because it seems that this species has been misidentified previously in Britain as the morphologically similar (Meigen, 1838), the two species are contrasted and distinguished based on distinctive differences exhibited in the adult and larval stages. The pupa of is unknown, but the pupa of is distinguished from the pupae of other species of by modification of the most recent key to British mosquitoes. The history of the mosquito fauna recorded in the UK is summarized and bionomical information is provided for the two species.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.671.12447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5523212PMC
April 2017

Discovery of a single male Aedes aegypti (L.) in Merseyside, England.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Jun 24;10(1):309. Epub 2017 Jun 24.

Department of Biology, Edge Hill University, St. Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP, UK.

Background: The mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions where it is the major vector of dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and more recently Zika virus. Given its importance as a vector of arboviruses and its propensity to be transported to new regions, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has placed Ae. aegypti on a list of potentially invasive mosquito species. It was previously reported in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1865 and 1919 but did not establish on either occasion. It is now beginning to reappear in European countries and has been recorded in the Netherlands (not established) and Madeira (Portugal), as well as southern Russia, Georgia and Turkey.

Results: During summer 2014, a single male Ae. aegypti was captured during mosquito collections in north-western England using a sweep net. Morphological identification complimented by sequencing of the ITS2 rDNA, and cox1 mtDNA regions, confirmed the species. Following confirmation, a programme of targeted surveillance was implemented around the collection site by first identifying potential larval habitats in greenhouses, a cemetery, a farm and industrial units. Despite intensive surveillance around the location, no other Ae. aegypti specimens were collected using a combination of sweep netting, larval dipping, mosquito magnets, BG sentinel traps and ovitraps. All species collected were native to the UK.

Conclusion: The finding of the single male Ae. aegypti, while significant, presents no apparent disease risk to public health, and the follow-up survey suggests that there was no established population. However, this report does highlight the need for vigilance and robust surveillance, and the requirement for procedures to be in place to investigate such findings.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2251-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5483247PMC
June 2017

Tick infestation of small mammals in an English woodland.

J Vector Ecol 2017 06;42(1):74-83

Medical Entomology and Zoonoses Ecology, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury.

Tick infestations on small mammals were studied from April to November, 2010, in deciduous woodland in southern England in order to determine whether co-infestations with tick stages occurred on small mammals, a key requirement for endemic transmission of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). A total of 217 small mammals was trapped over 1,760 trap nights. Yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) made up the majority (52.5%) of animals, followed by wood mice (A. sylvaticus) 35.5% and bank voles (Myodes glareolus) 12%. A total of 970 ticks was collected from 169 infested animals; 96% of ticks were Ixodes ricinus and 3% I. trianguliceps. Over 98% of ticks were larval stages. Mean infestation intensities of I. ricinus were significantly higher on A. flavicollis (6.53 ± 0.67) than on A. sylvaticus (4.96 ± 0.92) and M. glareolus (3.25 ± 0.53). Infestations with I. ricinus were significantly higher in August than in any other month. Co-infestations with I. ricinus nymphs and larvae were observed on six (3.6%) infested individuals, and fifteen small mammals (8.9%) supported I. ricinus - I. trianguliceps co-infestations. This work contributes further to our understanding of European small mammal hosts that maintain tick populations and their associated pathogens, and indicates that co-infestation of larvae and nymph ticks does occur in lowland UK. The possible implications for transmission of tick-borne encephalitis virus between UK ticks and small mammals are discussed.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvec.12241DOI Listing
June 2017

Ticks and Borrelia in urban and peri-urban green space habitats in a city in southern England.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2017 03 21;8(3):353-361. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology, Emergency Response Department - Science & Technology, Health Protection Directorate, Public Health England, Porton Down, UK; NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health, UK; NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, UK.

Ticks are becoming increasingly recognised as important vectors of pathogens in urban and peri-urban areas, including green space used for recreational activities. In the UK, the risk posed by ticks in such areas is largely unknown. In order to begin to assess the risk of ticks in urban/peri-urban areas in southern England, questing ticks were collected from five different habitat types (grassland, hedge, park, woodland and woodland edge) in a city during the spring, summer and autumn of 2013/2014 and screened for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. In addition, seasonal differences in B. burgdorferi s.l. prevalence were also investigated at a single site during 2015. Ixodes ricinus presence and activity were significantly higher in woodland edge habitat and during spring surveys. DNA of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 18.1% of nymphs collected across the 25 sites during 2013 and 2014 and two nymphs also tested positive for the newly emerging tick-borne pathogen B. miyamotoi. Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. prevalence at a single site surveyed in 2015 were found to be significantly higher during spring and summer than in autumn, with B. garinii and B. valaisiana most commonly detected. These data indicate that a range of habitats within an urban area in southern England support ticks and that urban Borrelia transmission cycles may exist in some of the urban green spaces included in this study. Sites surveyed were frequently used by humans for recreational activities, providing opportunity for exposure to Borrelia infected ticks in an urban/peri-urban space that might not be typically associated with tick-borne disease transmission.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.12.009DOI Listing
March 2017

Surveillance for Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) on the Faroe Islands.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2017 01 4;8(1):190-195. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Faroese Museum of Natural History, Kúrdalsvegur 15, FO-188, Hoyvík, Faroe Islands. Electronic address:

Ixodes ricinus ticks are expanding their geographic range in Europe, both latitudinally in Scandinavia, and altitudinally in the European Alps. This paper details the findings of both passive and active surveillance on the Faroe Islands. Active field surveillance, using tick dragging, was conducted at 38 sites across the main seven inhabited islands of the Faroes during June-August 2015. Field sampling was conducted at all wooded sites on the islands of Vágar, Streymoy, Eysturoy, Borðoy, Kunoy and Suðuroy as well as in urban parks in the capital Tórshavn, among seabird colonies and at a bird observatory on Nólsoy, at moorland sites on Vágar and Borðoy, and a coastal headland on Suðuroy. In addition, as part of the promotion of a new passive surveillance scheme for the Faroes, new tick records were submitted during summer 2015 and early spring 2016. During tick dragging, only three questing I. ricinus ticks (two nymphs, one male) were found at two separate sampling locations in the village of Tvøroyri on the southernmost island of Suðuroy. No questing ticks were found at any other field site. The passive surveillance of ticks identified an additional 33 records of I. ricinus collected during the last 10 years on the Faroes, with almost half of these records from 2015. Although this represents the first finding of questing I. ricinus and overwintering I. ricinus on the Faroe Islands, there appears to be little evidence so far to suggest that Ixodes ricinus are established on the Faroe Islands. Additional reports of ticks through the passive surveillance scheme are reported from seven inhabited islands. Reports of ticks on both companion animals and humans suggest that ticks are being acquired locally, and the records of ticks on migratory birds highlight a possible route of importation. This paper details the likely ecological constraints on I. ricinus establishment and density on Faroe and makes recommendations for future surveillance and research.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.11.001DOI Listing
January 2017

Expansion of the range of the West Nile virus vector in Essex.

Vet Rec 2016 Oct;179(14):363-364

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, e-mail:

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.i5388DOI Listing
October 2016

First report of Rickettsia raoultii in field collected Dermacentor reticulatus ticks from Austria.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2016 07 2;7(5):720-722. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Květná 8, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

In a set of pooled field collected Dermacentor reticulatus ticks, Rickettsia raoultii, the causative agent of Tick-borne lymphadenopathy/Dermacentor-borne necrosis erythema and lymphadenopathy, was found for the first time in Austria. The coordinates of the positive locations for tick and pathogen abundance are given and shown in a map.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.02.022DOI Listing
July 2016

Current status of invasive mosquito surveillance in the UK.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Jun 30;8:351. Epub 2015 Jun 30.

Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology group, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 0JG, United Kingdom.

Background: Non-native invasive mosquitoes have for many years made incursions into Europe, and are now established in many European countries. The continued European importation of potential vectors and their expansion within Europe increases their potential for importation and establishment in the UK. Coupled with increasing numbers of returning dengue and chikungunya infected travellers, the potential exists for transmission of vector borne disease in new regions.

Methods: To ensure a cost-effective risk assessment and preparedness strategy the UK employs a multi-faceted approach to surveillance for non-native Aedes mosquitoes, including passive and active surveillance strategies at a local, regional, and national level. Passive surveillance, including a national mosquito recording scheme and local authority nuisance biting reporting, are combined with targeted active surveillance at seaports, airports, used tyre importers, and motorway service stations.

Results: There is no evidence to date that any invasive Aedes species (e.g., Aedes albopictus, Aedes japonicus, Aedes aegypti) occur in the UK despite sharing many of the same routes that have been found to have facilitated their entry into other countries.

Conclusions: This paper sets in context the UK approaches with other European countries and those recommended by the ECDC. It also highlights future UK strategies to enhance surveillance for non-native mosquitoes to help ensure that incursions can be managed, and these mosquitoes do not establish and public health is protected. Focus will be given to increasing the number of submissions of mosquitoes to passive surveillance schemes and maintaining active surveillance efforts at key routes of potential importation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0936-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4491199PMC
June 2015

Seasonal dynamics and habitat specificity of mosquitoes in an English wetland: implications for UK wetland management and restoration.

J Vector Ecol 2015 Jun;40(1):90-106

Medical Entomology and Zoonoses Ecology Group, MRA, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, United Kingdom.

We engaged in field studies of native mosquitoes in a Cambridgeshire Fen, investigating a) the habitat specificity and seasonal dynamics of our native fauna in an intensively managed wetland, b) the impact of water-level and ditch management, and c) their colonization of an arable reversion to flooded grassland wetland expansion project. Studies from April to October, 2010 collected 14,000 adult mosquitoes (15 species) over 292 trap-nights and ∼4,000 pre-imaginal mosquitoes (11 species). Open floodwater species (Aedes caspius and Aedes cinereus, 43.3%) and wet woodland species (Aedes cantans/annulipes and Aedes rusticus, 32.4%) dominated, highlighting the major impact of seasonal water-level management on mosquito populations in an intensively managed wetland. In permanent habitats, managing marginal ditch vegetation and ditch drying significantly affect densities of pre-imaginal anophelines and culicines, respectively. This study presents the first UK field evidence of the implications of wetland expansion through arable reversion on mosquito colonization. Understanding the heterogeneity of mosquito diversity, phenology, and abundance in intensively managed UK wetlands will be crucial to mitigating nuisance and vector species through habitat management and biocidal control.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvec.12137DOI Listing
June 2015

Impacts of the creation, expansion and management of English wetlands on mosquito presence and abundance - developing strategies for future disease mitigation.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Mar 3;8:142. Epub 2015 Mar 3.

Medical Entomology group, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 0JG, UK.

The incidence of mosquito-borne diseases is increasing in Europe, partly due to the incursion of a number of invasive species known to be vectors of dengue and chikungunya viruses, but also due to the involvement of native species in the transmission of West Nile virus and malaria. For some of these pathogens, there is a risk of the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases that were once widespread in Europe, but declined partly due to large-scale land-drainage projects. Some mosquito species exploit container habitats as breeding sites in urban areas; an adaptation to human-made micro-habitats resulting from increased urbanisation. However, many species thrive in natural wetland ecosystems. Owing to the impacts of climate change there is an urgent need for environmental adaptation, such as the creation of new wetlands to mitigate coastal and inland flooding. In some cases, these initiatives can be coupled with environmental change strategies to protect a range of endangered flora and fauna species by enhancing and extending wetland landscapes, which may by driven by European legislation, particularly in urban areas. This paper reviews field studies conducted in England to assess the impact of newly created wetlands on mosquito colonisation in a) coastal, b) urban and c) arable reversion habitats. It also considers the impact of wetland management on mosquito populations and explores the implications of various water and vegetation management options on the range of British mosquito species. Understanding the impact of wetland creation and management strategies on mosquito prevalence and the potential risk of increasing the levels of nuisance or disease vector species will be crucial in informing health and well-being risk assessments, guiding targeted control, and anticipating the social effects of extreme weather and climate change. Although new wetlands will certainly extend aquatic habitats for mosquitoes, not all species will become a major nuisance or a vector concern as a result. Understanding how the design and management of wetlands might exacerbate mosquito densities is crucial if we are to manage nuisance mosquitoes and control vector species in the event of a disease outbreak. This entomological evidence-base will ensure that control strategies achieve optimal efficacy at minimal cost.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0751-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4359530PMC
March 2015

Enhanced West Nile virus surveillance in the North Kent marshes, UK.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Feb 10;8:91. Epub 2015 Feb 10.

Medical Entomology group, MRA, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 0JG, UK.

Background: As part of efforts to more fully understand the potential risks posed by West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) in the UK, and following on from previous reports of a potential bridge vector Culex modestus for these viruses, at wetland sites in North Kent, mosquito surveillance was undertaken more widely across the Isle of Sheppey, the Hoo Peninsula and the Kent mainland.

Methods: Larval surveys were conducted and Mosquito Magnet® adult traps were used to collect adult mosquitoes. Pools of female mosquitoes were tested for the presence of WNV using real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. A subset of samples was tested for USUV.

Results: Culex modestus was found in both the pre-imaginal and imago stage at all five locations surveyed, accounting for 90% of adult mosquitoes collected. WNV or USUV were not detected in any sample.

Conclusions: Although no mosquitoes have been shown to be virus positive, the field survey data from this study demonstrated the dominance of an important bridge vector species for WNV in this region. Its wide geographical distribution highlights the need to update risk assessments on WNV introduction, and to maintain vigilance for WNV in the South East of England.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0705-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4342892PMC
February 2015

Approaches to passive mosquito surveillance in the EU.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Jan 8;8. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

Institute for Land Use Systems, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Muencheberg, Germany.

The recent emergence in Europe of invasive mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease associated with both invasive and native mosquito species has prompted intensified mosquito vector research in most European countries. Central to the efforts are mosquito monitoring and surveillance activities in order to assess the current species occurrence, distribution and, when possible, abundance, in order to permit the early detection of invasive species and the spread of competent vectors. As active mosquito collection, e.g. by trapping adults, dipping preimaginal developmental stages or ovitrapping, is usually cost-, time- and labour-intensive and can cover only small parts of a country, passive data collection approaches are gradually being integrated into monitoring programmes. Thus, scientists in several EU member states have recently initiated programmes for mosquito data collection and analysis that make use of sources other than targeted mosquito collection. While some of them extract mosquito distribution data from zoological databases established in other contexts, community-based approaches built upon the recognition, reporting, collection and submission of mosquito specimens by citizens are becoming more and more popular and increasingly support scientific research. Based on such reports and submissions, new populations, extended or new distribution areas and temporal activity patterns of invasive and native mosquito species were found. In all cases, extensive media work and communication with the participating individuals or groups was fundamental for success. The presented projects demonstrate that passive approaches are powerful tools to survey the mosquito fauna in order to supplement active mosquito surveillance strategies and render them more focused. Their ability to continuously produce biological data permits the early recognition of changes in the mosquito fauna that may have an impact on biting nuisance and the risk of pathogen transmission associated with mosquitoes. International coordination to explore synergies and increase efficiency of passive surveillance programmes across borders needs to be established.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-014-0604-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4302443PMC
January 2015

Colonization of a newly constructed urban wetland by mosquitoes in England: implications for nuisance and vector species.

J Vector Ecol 2014 Dec;39(2):249-60

Medical Entomology and Zoonoses Ecology group, MRA, Emergency Response Department, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, United Kingdom.

Urban wetlands are being created in the UK as part of sustainable urban drainage strategies, to create wetland habitats lost during development, to provide a habitat for protected species, and to increase the public's access to 'blue-space' for the improvement of health and well-being. Sewage treatment reedbeds are also being incorporated into newly constructed wetlands to offer an alternative approach to dealing with sewage. This field study aims to provide the first UK evidence of how such newly constructed aquatic habitats are colonized by mosquitoes. A number of new aquatic habitats were surveyed for immature mosquitoes every fortnight over the first two years following wetland construction. The majority of mosquitoes collected were Culex sp. and were significantly associated with the sewage treatment reedbed system, particularly following storm events and sewage inflow. Other more natural aquatic habitats that were subject to cycles of drying and re-wetting contributed the majority of the remaining mosquitoes colonizing. Colonization of permanent habitats was slow, particularly where fluctuations in water levels inhibited emergent vegetation growth. It is recommended that during the planning process for newly constructed wetlands consideration is given on a case-by-case basis to the impact of mosquitoes, either as a cause of nuisance or as potential vectors. Although ornithophagic Culex dominated in this wetland, their potential role as enzootic West Nile virus vectors should not be overlooked.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvec.12099DOI Listing
December 2014

Potential vector for West Nile virus prevalent in Kent.

Vet Rec 2014 Sep;175(11):284-5

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.g5679DOI Listing
September 2014

Detection of mosquito-only flaviviruses in Europe.

J Gen Virol 2012 Jun 29;93(Pt 6):1215-1225. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia-Romagna 'B. Ubertini' (IZSLER), via Bianchi 9, 25124, Brescia, Italy.

The genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae, includes a number of important arthropod-transmitted human pathogens such as dengue viruses, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus and yellow fever virus. In addition, the genus includes flaviviruses without a known vertebrate reservoir, which have been detected only in insects, particularly in mosquitoes, such as cell fusing agent virus, Kamiti River virus, Culex flavivirus, Aedes flavivirus, Quang Binh virus, Nakiwogo virus and Calbertado virus. Reports of the detection of these viruses with no recognized pathogenic role in humans are increasing in mosquitoes collected around the world, particularly in those sampled in entomological surveys targeting pathogenic flaviviruses. The presence of six potential flaviviruses, detected from independent European arbovirus surveys undertaken in the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK between 2007 and 2010, is reported in this work. Whilst the Aedes flaviviruses, detected in Italy from Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, had already been isolated in Japan, the remaining five viruses have not been reported previously: one was detected in Italy, Portugal and Spain from Aedes mosquitoes (particularly from Aedes caspius), one in Portugal and Spain from Culex theileri mosquitoes, one in the Czech Republic and Italy from Aedes vexans, one in the Czech Republic from Aedes vexans and the last in the UK from Aedes cinereus. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the close relationship of these putative viruses to other insect-only flaviviruses.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.040485-0DOI Listing
June 2012

West Nile virus vector Culex modestus established in southern England.

Parasit Vectors 2012 Feb 9;5:32. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Group, Tinbergen Building, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.

Background: The risk posed to the United Kingdom by West Nile virus (WNV) has previously been considered low, due to the absence or scarcity of the main Culex sp. bridge vectors. The mosquito Culex modestus is widespread in southern Europe, where it acts as the principle bridge vector of WNV. This species was not previously thought to be present in the United Kingdom.

Findings: Mosquito larval surveys carried out in 2010 identified substantial populations of Cx. modestus at two sites in marshland in southeast England. Host-seeking-adult traps placed at a third site indicate that the relative seasonal abundance of Cx. modestus peaks in early August. DNA barcoding of these specimens from the United Kingdom and material from southern France confirmed the morphological identification.

Conclusions: Cx. modestus appears to be established in the North Kent Marshes, possibly as the result of a recent introduction. The addition of this species to the United Kingdom's mosquito fauna may increase the risk posed to the United Kingdom by WNV.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-5-32DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3295653PMC
February 2012

Importation of Hyalomma marginatum, vector of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, into the United Kingdom by migratory birds.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2012 Apr 18;3(2):95-9. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology, Microbial Risk Assessment, Emergency Response Dept., Health Protection Services, Health Protection Agency, Porton Down, Wiltshire SP4 0JG, UK.

Hyalomma marginatum ticks are an important vector of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus which can result in a severe and potentially fatal disease in humans. Given the continued emergence of clinical cases in Eurasia and focalised upsurges of H. marginatum populations in Europe, it seemed prudent to assess the potential of this vector species to be introduced into the United Kingdom. Immature forms of H. marginatum are frequent ectoparasites of passerine birds many of which migrate from Africa to the UK each spring. Incoming birds were inspected for ticks during the spring migration in 2010 and 2011. A total of 68 ticks was collected from 971 birds (29 bird species), 21% (14) of the ticks were identified as H. marginatum. Oenanthe oenanthe (Northern wheatear) and Sylvia communis (Whitethroat) were found to be infested by this tick in both years and with multiple ticks. Single specimens were also removed from Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (Sedge warbler) and Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Common redstart) in 2010. This study provides the first contemporary evidence for substantial importation of this tick species into the UK.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2011.12.002DOI Listing
April 2012
-->