Blood-meal analysis and avian malaria screening of mosquitoes collected from human-inhabited areas in Hungary and Serbia

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:K. Kurucz, Kepner, A., Krtinic, B., Hederics, D., Foldes, F., Brigetta, Z., Jakab, F., Kemenesi, G.
Journal:Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association
Date Published:11/4/18
Keywords:amphibian host, digestion status, host-feeding, invasive species, Plasmodium, vector competence

Mosquito-borne pathogens have a growing medical importance in several European countries. The emergence and invasion of exotic vector species increases the likelihood that additional vector-borne diseases may appear in regions that have not encountered them previously. In the last few years, different emerging pathogens affecting humans, livestock and wildlife were detected in mosquitoes in the Eastern European region; moreover, several invasive mosquito species were recorded in the area. The importance of particular mosquito species for the transmission of vector-borne pathogens is strongly determined by several factors such as their feeding behaviour. However, there is a huge knowledge gap regarding the ecological background of host use by mosquitoes and their capacity to act as vectors. Derived from a transboundary mosquito surveillance programme, a total of 84 engorged mosquitoes were subjected to PCR-based blood meal identification analysis and screened for Plasmodium species. The majority of tested mosquitoes were Aedes vexans and Culex pipiens, in addition to an exotic species Aedes koreicus, which was detected last summer for the first time in the vicinity of Balkans region. Hereby, we provide the first explicit data regarding the feeding behaviour of this exotic species in Europe. The human origin of blood-meal may highlight the possible medical importance of the species and its important role in mosquito nuisance. Aedes vexans mosquitoes exhibited mostly zoophilic behaviour compared to Cx. pipiens, which was found to be primarily anthropophilic and secondarily ornithophilic, along with amphibian host preference. We detected Plasmodium relictum in five Cx. pipiens, which had fed on humans. This study provides additional insight into the ectothermic host preference of Cx. pipiens in nature and highlights the human and veterinary health importance of these species. In addition, these results provide novel insight for the feeding patterns of the investigated mosquitoes. Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association 36: 3-13, 2018

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