Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht, Netherlands

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PubMed | Netherlands Institute of Ecology, University Utrecht, Dutch Center for Field Ornithology, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Center for Monitoring of Vectors
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin | Year: 2016

We report a widespread Usutu virus outbreak in birds in the Netherlands. Viral presence had been detected through targeted surveillance as early as April 2016 and increased mortality in common blackbirds and captive great grey owls was noticed from August 2016 onwards. Usutu virus infection was confirmed by post-mortem examination and RT-PCR. Extensive Usutu virus activity in the Netherlands in 2016 underlines the need to monitor mosquito activity and mosquito-borne infections in 2017 and beyond.


PubMed | Corresponding author and Center for Monitoring of Vectors
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical entomology | Year: 2015

From 2010 onwards, a nationwide mosquito monitoring scheme has been conducted in The Netherlands with the aim of gaining crucial information about mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) species composition, geographical distributions, biodiversity, and habitat preferences. The results of this study are based on 778 randomly sampled mosquito locations. These are divided into three main habitat types: urban, rural-agricultural, and natural areas. Twenty-seven mosquito species were found: 26 indigenous and 1 exotic, Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald, 1901). The preliminary results are presented here, with details of their species distribution and seasonality. Monitoring the temporal and spatial distribution of mosquitoes is an essential step in the risk analysis of emerging mosquito-borne diseases.


PubMed | National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Wageningen University, Public Health Service of Amsterdam and Center for Monitoring of Vectors
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in public health | Year: 2014

Public health statistics recorded an increasing trend in the incidence of tick bites and erythema migrans (EM) in the Netherlands. We investigated whether the disease incidence could be predicted by a spatially explicit categorization model, based on environmental factors and a training set of tick absence-presence data. Presence and absence of Ixodes ricinus were determined by the blanket-dragging method at numerous sites spread over the Netherlands. The probability of tick presence on a 1km by 1km square grid was estimated from the field data using a satellite-based methodology. Expert elicitation was conducted to provide a Bayesian prior per landscape type. We applied a linear model to test for a linear relationship between incidence of EM consultations by general practitioners in the Netherlands and the estimated probability of tick presence. Ticks were present at 252 distinct sampling coordinates and absent at 425. Tick presence was estimated for 54% of the total land cover. Our model has predictive power for tick presence in the Netherlands, tick-bite incidence per municipality correlated significantly with the average probability of tick presence per grid. The estimated intercept of the linear model was positive and significant. This indicates that a significant fraction of the tick-bite consultations could be attributed to the I. ricinus population outside the resident municipality.


Cianci D.,University Utrecht | Hartemink N.,University Utrecht | Ibanez-Justicia A.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors
International Journal of Health Geographics | Year: 2015

Background: Models for the spatial distribution of vector species are important tools in the assessment of the risk of establishment and subsequent spread of vector-borne diseases. The aims of this study are to define the environmental conditions suitable for several mosquito species through species distribution modelling techniques, and to compare the results produced with the different techniques. Methods: Three different modelling techniques, i.e., non-linear discriminant analysis, random forest and generalised linear model, were used to investigate the environmental suitability in the Netherlands for three indigenous mosquito species (Culiseta annulata, Anopheles claviger and Ochlerotatus punctor). Results obtained with the three statistical models were compared with regard to: (i) environmental suitability maps, (ii) environmental variables associated with occurrence, (iii) model evaluation. Results: The models indicated that precipitation, temperature and population density were associated with the occurrence of Cs. annulata and An. claviger, whereas land surface temperature and vegetation indices were associated with the presence of Oc. punctor. The maps produced with the three different modelling techniques showed consistent spatial patterns for each species, but differences in the ranges of the predictions. Non-linear discriminant analysis had lower predictions than other methods. The model with the best classification skills for all the species was the random forest model, with specificity values ranging from 0.89 to 0.91, and sensitivity values ranging from 0.64 to 0.95. Conclusions: We mapped the environmental suitability for three mosquito species with three different modelling techniques. For each species, the maps showed consistent spatial patterns, but the level of predicted environmental suitability differed; NLDA gave lower predicted probabilities of presence than the other two methods. The variables selected as important in the models were in agreement with the existing knowledge about these species. All model predictions had a satisfactory to excellent accuracy; best accuracy was obtained with random forest. The insights obtained can be used to gain more knowledge on vector and non-vector mosquito species. The output of this type of distribution modelling methods can, for example, be used as input for epidemiological models of vector-borne diseases. © 2015 Cianci et al.


Ibanez-Justicia A.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Cianci D.,University Utrecht
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Landscape modifications, urbanization or changes of use of rural-agricultural areas can create more favourable conditions for certain mosquito species and therefore indirectly cause nuisance problems for humans. This could potentially result in mosquito-borne disease outbreaks when the nuisance is caused by mosquito species that can transmit pathogens. Anopheles plumbeus is a nuisance mosquito species and a potential malaria vector. It is one of the most frequently observed species in the Netherlands. Information on the distribution of this species is essential for risk assessments. The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential spatial distribution of An. plumbeus in the Netherlands. Methods: Random forest models were used to link the occurrence and the abundance of An. plumbeus with environmental features and to produce distribution maps in the Netherlands. Mosquito data were collected using a cross-sectional study design in the Netherlands, from April to October 2010-2013. The environmental data were obtained from satellite imagery and weather stations. Statistical measures (accuracy for the occurrence model and mean squared error for the abundance model) were used to evaluate the models performance. The models were externally validated. Results: The maps show that forested areas (centre of the Netherlands) and the east of the country were predicted as suitable for An. plumbeus. In particular high suitability and high abundance was predicted in the south-eastern provinces Limburg and North Brabant. Elevation, precipitation, day and night temperature and vegetation indices were important predictors for calculating the probability of occurrence for An. plumbeus. The probability of occurrence, vegetation indices and precipitation were important for predicting its abundance. The AUC value was 0.73 and the error in the validation was 0.29; the mean squared error value was 0.12. Conclusions: The areas identified by the model as suitable and with high abundance of An. plumbeus, are consistent with the areas from which nuisance was reported. Our results can be helpful in the assessment of vector-borne disease risk. © 2015 Ibañez-Justicia and Cianci; licensee BioMed Central.


Ibanez-Justicia A.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Cianci D.,University Utrecht
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Landscape modifications, urbanization or changes of use of rural-agricultural areas can create more favourable conditions for certain mosquito species and therefore indirectly cause nuisance problems for humans. This could potentially result in mosquito-borne disease outbreaks when the nuisance is caused by mosquito species that can transmit pathogens. Anopheles plumbeus is a nuisance mosquito species and a potential malaria vector. It is one of the most frequently observed species in the Netherlands. Information on the distribution of this species is essential for risk assessments. The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential spatial distribution of An. plumbeus in the Netherlands. Methods: Random forest models were used to link the occurrence and the abundance of An. plumbeus with environmental features and to produce distribution maps in the Netherlands. Mosquito data were collected using a cross-sectional study design in the Netherlands, from April to October 2010-2013. The environmental data were obtained from satellite imagery and weather stations. Statistical measures (accuracy for the occurrence model and mean squared error for the abundance model) were used to evaluate the models performance. The models were externally validated. Results: The maps show that forested areas (centre of the Netherlands) and the east of the country were predicted as suitable for An. plumbeus. In particular high suitability and high abundance was predicted in the south-eastern provinces Limburg and North Brabant. Elevation, precipitation, day and night temperature and vegetation indices were important predictors for calculating the probability of occurrence for An. plumbeus. The probability of occurrence, vegetation indices and precipitation were important for predicting its abundance. The AUC value was 0.73 and the error in the validation was 0.29; the mean squared error value was 0.12. Conclusions: The areas identified by the model as suitable and with high abundance of An. plumbeus, are consistent with the areas from which nuisance was reported. Our results can be helpful in the assessment of vector-borne disease risk. © 2015 Ibañez-Justicia and Cianci; licensee BioMed Central.


Ibanez-Justicia A.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Stroo A.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Dik M.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Beeuwkes J.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Scholte E.J.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2015

From 2010 onwards, a nationwide mosquito monitoring scheme has been conducted in The Netherlands with the aim of gaining crucial information about mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) species composition, geographical distributions, biodiversity, and habitat preferences. The results of this study are based on 778 randomly sampled mosquito locations. These are divided into three main habitat types: urban, rural-agricultural, and natural areas. Twenty-seven mosquito species were found: 26 indigenous and 1 exotic, Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald, 1901). The preliminary results are presented here, with details of their species distribution and seasonality. Monitoring the temporal and spatial distribution of mosquitoes is an essential step in the risk analysis of emerging mosquito-borne diseases. © 2015 The Author. All rights reserved.


Van De Vossenberg B.T.L.H.,Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority | Ibanez-Justicia A.,Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Metz-Verschure E.,Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority | Van Veen E.J.,Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2015

Since 2009, The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority carries out surveys focusing on, amongst others, the presence of invasive mosquito species (IMS). Special attention is given to exotic container-breeding Aedes species Aedes aegypti (L.), Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes atropalpus (Coquillett), and Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald). This study describes the implementation of real-time PCR tests described by Hill et al. (2008) for the identification of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, and the development of two novel real-time PCR tests for the identification of Ae. atropalpus and Ae. j. japonicus. Initial test showed that optimization of elements of the Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus tests was needed. Method validation tests were performed to determine if the implemented and newly developed tests are fit for routine diagnostics. Performance criteria of analytical sensitivity, analytical specificity, selectivity, repeatability, and reproducibility were determined. In addition, experiments were performed to determine the influence of environmental conditions on the usability of DNA extracted from mosquito specimens trapped in BG-Sentinel traps. The real-time PCR tests were demonstrated to be sensitive, specific, repeatable, reproducible, and are less prone to false negative results compared to partial cytochrome c oxidase I gene sequencing owing to the DNA fragmentation caused by environmental influences. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.


PubMed | University Utrecht and Center for Monitoring of Vectors
Type: | Journal: International journal of health geographics | Year: 2015

Models for the spatial distribution of vector species are important tools in the assessment of the risk of establishment and subsequent spread of vector-borne diseases. The aims of this study are to define the environmental conditions suitable for several mosquito species through species distribution modelling techniques, and to compare the results produced with the different techniques.Three different modelling techniques, i.e., non-linear discriminant analysis, random forest and generalised linear model, were used to investigate the environmental suitability in the Netherlands for three indigenous mosquito species (Culiseta annulata, Anopheles claviger and Ochlerotatus punctor). Results obtained with the three statistical models were compared with regard to: (i) environmental suitability maps, (ii) environmental variables associated with occurrence, (iii) model evaluation.The models indicated that precipitation, temperature and population density were associated with the occurrence of Cs. annulata and An. claviger, whereas land surface temperature and vegetation indices were associated with the presence of Oc. punctor. The maps produced with the three different modelling techniques showed consistent spatial patterns for each species, but differences in the ranges of the predictions. Non-linear discriminant analysis had lower predictions than other methods. The model with the best classification skills for all the species was the random forest model, with specificity values ranging from 0.89 to 0.91, and sensitivity values ranging from 0.64 to 0.95.We mapped the environmental suitability for three mosquito species with three different modelling techniques. For each species, the maps showed consistent spatial patterns, but the level of predicted environmental suitability differed; NLDA gave lower predicted probabilities of presence than the other two methods. The variables selected as important in the models were in agreement with the existing knowledge about these species. All model predictions had a satisfactory to excellent accuracy; best accuracy was obtained with random forest. The insights obtained can be used to gain more knowledge on vector and non-vector mosquito species. The output of this type of distribution modelling methods can, for example, be used as input for epidemiological models of vector-borne diseases.


PubMed | Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and Center for Monitoring of Vectors
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical entomology | Year: 2015

Since 2009, The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority carries out surveys focusing on, amongst others, the presence of invasive mosquito species (IMS). Special attention is given to exotic container-breeding Aedes species Aedes aegypti (L.), Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes atropalpus (Coquillett), and Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald). This study describes the implementation of real-time PCR tests described by Hill etal. (2008) for the identification of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, and the development of two novel real-time PCR tests for the identification of Ae. atropalpus and Ae. j. japonicus. Initial test showed that optimization of elements of the Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus tests was needed. Method validation tests were performed to determine if the implemented and newly developed tests are fit for routine diagnostics. Performance criteria of analytical sensitivity, analytical specificity, selectivity, repeatability, and reproducibility were determined. In addition, experiments were performed to determine the influence of environmental conditions on the usability of DNA extracted from mosquito specimens trapped in BG-Sentinel traps. The real-time PCR tests were demonstrated to be sensitive, specific, repeatable, reproducible, and are less prone to false negative results compared to partial cytochrome c oxidase I gene sequencing owing to the DNA fragmentation caused by environmental influences.

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