Project groups

7-4.3 | TIGER MOSQUITOES: INVASION OF EUROPE

Like Ambrosia artemisiifolia, the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is ranked among the world's 100 most dangerous invasive species. Following their introduction into Albania in 1979 and into Italy in 1990, Tiger Mosquitoes have colonised large areas of southern Europe and are now a common pest in many places, including big cities. They have been transported repeatedly to localities in Europe north of the Alps, including Germany, by vehicle traffic from southern Europe and via cargo ships transporting goods such as used car tyres and ornamental plants. Although there are conflicting prognoses regarding the future spread of this species under climate change scenarios, there is a broad consensus that its range in Europe, if not controlled, is poised to expand significantly.
An important question related to this exotic disease vector concerns the geographic origin of the founding populations, their genetic diversity, and the relationships between European populations. Using multiple genetic markers and new statistical methods, BiK-F researchers Ruth Jesse, Markus Pfenninger and Ulrich Kuch seek to reconstruct this European invasion. Resolving these questions has great applied significance because the cold tolerance and reproductive biology of these populations may be expected to differ dramatically depending on the origin of their founders (e.g. in a seasonally cold vs. an aseasonal tropical climate), adaptive potential and fitness greatly depend on genetic diversity, and knowledge on the relationships of populations will increase the understanding of routes and modes of introduction.

Team

Meghnath Dhimal , Ph.D. student
Ahmad Ghiffari, M.D., Ph.D. student
Friederike Reuß, Ph.D. student

Publications

Bock, F., Kuch, U., Pfenninger, M., & R. Müller (2015) : Standardized laboratory feeding of larval Aedes japonicus japonicus. - Journal of Insect Science 15: 144.

Dhimal, M., Ahrens, B. & U. Kuch (2014) : Malaria control in Nepal 1963–2012: challenges on the path towards elimination. - Malaria Journal, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-13-241

Dhimal, M., O’Hara, R.B., Karki, R., Thakur, G.D., Kuch, U. & B. Ahrens (2014) : Spatio-temporal distribution of malaria and its association with climatic factors and vector-control interventions in two high-risk districts of Nepal. – Malaria Journal, DOI: doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-457.

Dhimal, M., Gautam, I., Kreß, A., Müller, R. & U. Kuch (2014) : Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dengue and Lymphatic Filariasis Vectors along an Altitudinal Transect in Central Nepal. - PLOS One Neglected Tropical Diseases, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003035

Gautam, I., Kc, A., Tuladhar, R., Pandey, B.D., Tamrakar, A.S., Byanju, R., Dhimal, M., Aryal, K. & U. Kuch (2012) : Container preference of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) in Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts of Nepal. - Journal of Natural History Museum 26: 183-191.

Stribrny, B. & U. Kuch : Climate change and vector-borne diseases: Using the past to predict the future. - Public Health Journal 20, 5-7.