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Jaenson T.G.T.,Uppsala University | Varv K.,National Institute for Health Development | Frojdman I.,Aalto University | Jaaskelainen A.,University of Helsinki | And 6 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2016

Background: The tick species Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus are of exceptional medical importance in the western and eastern parts, respectively, of the Palaearctic region. In Russia and Finland the range of I. persulcatus has recently increased. In Finland the first records of I. persulcatus are from 2004. The apparent expansion of its range in Finland prompted us to investigate if I. persulcatus also occurs in Sweden. Methods: Dog owners and hunters in the coastal areas of northern Sweden provided information about localities where ticks could be present. In May-August 2015 we used the cloth-dragging method in 36 localities potentially harbouring ticks in the Bothnian Bay area, province Norrbotten (NB) of northern Sweden. Further to the south in the provinces Västerbotten (VB) and Uppland (UP) eight localities were similarly investigated. Results: Ixodes persulcatus was detected in 9 of 36 field localities in the Bothnian Bay area. Nymphs, adult males and adult females (n = 46 ticks) of I. persulcatus were present mainly in Alnus incana - Sorbus aucuparia - Picea abies - Pinus sylvestris vegetation communities on islands in the Bothnian Bay. Some of these I. persulcatus populations seem to be the most northerly populations so far recorded of this species. Dog owners asserted that their dogs became tick-infested on these islands for the first time 7-8 years ago. Moose (Alces alces), hares (Lepus timidus), domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and ground-feeding birds are the most likely carriers dispersing I. persulcatus in this area. All ticks (n = 124) from the more southern provinces of VB and UP were identified as I. ricinus. Conclusions: The geographical range of the taiga tick has recently expanded into northern Sweden. Increased information about prophylactic, anti-tick measures should be directed to people living in or visiting the coastal areas and islands of the Baltic Bay. © 2016 The Author(s).


D'hondt B.,Belgian Biodiversity Platform | D'hondt B.,Research Institute for Nature and Forest | Vanderhoeven S.,Belgian Biodiversity Platform | Roelandt S.,Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center | And 11 more authors.
Biological Invasions | Year: 2015

Given the large number of alien species that may potentially develop into invasives, there is a clear need for robust schemes that allow to screen species for such risks. The Harmonia+ framework presented here brings together 30 questions that refer to distinct components of invasion. Together, they cover the stages of introduction, establishment, spread, and multiple kinds of impacts, viz. referring to the health of the environment (including wild species), cultivated plants, domesticated animals and man. In a complete assessment, input is provided by choosing among predefined ordinal answers and by supplementing these with textual clarification. Uncertainty is covered by indicating levels of confidence. By converting answers into scores, which are then condensed into summary statistics, Harmonia+ allows for quantitative output on stage-specific and general risks. Test assessments on five species emerging in Belgium showed the perceived environmental risks of Procambarus clarkii to be highest (0.72), and that of Threskiornis aethiopicus to be lowest (0.13). Given the considerable parallels that exist between invasive alien species and emerging infectious diseases, we additionally created Pandora, which is a risk analysis scheme for pathogens and parasites. It consists of 13 key questions and has the same structure as Harmonia+. Since diseases play a paramount role in biological invasions, results of Pandora assessments may feed into Harmonia+ through a slightly adapted, host-specific version named Pandora+. Harmonia+, Pandora and Pandora+ may be used both for prioritization purposes and for underpinning detailed risk analyses, and can be consulted online through http://ias.biodiversity.be. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Damiens D.,Catholic University of Louvain | Damiens D.,International Atomic Energy Agency | Ayrinhac A.,Catholic University of Louvain | Van Bortel W.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

When accidentally introduced in a new location, a species does not necessarily readily become invasive, but it usually needs several years to adapt to its new environment. In 2009, a national mosquito survey (MODIRISK) reported the introduction and possible establishment of an invasive mosquito species, Aedes j. japonicus, in Belgium. First collected in 2002 in the village of Natoye from a second-hand tire company, then sampled in 2003 and 2004, the presence of adults and larvae was confirmed in 2007 and 2008. A repeated cross-sectional survey of Ae. j. japonicus was then conducted in 2009 in Natoye to study the phenology of the species on two different sites using three kinds of traps: Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus traps, BG sentinel traps and CDC Gravid traps. An analysis of the blood meals was done on females to assess the epidemiological risks. Five species of mosquitos were caught using the different kind of traps: Culex pipiens, Cx torrentium, Anopheles claviger, Aedes geniculatus and Ae. j. japonicus, Cx pipiens being the most abundant. The CDC gravid traps gave the best results. Surprisingly Ae. j. japonicus was only found on one site although both sites seem similar and are only distant of 2.5 km. Its population peak was reached in July. Most of the engorged mosquitoes tested acquired blood meals from humans (60%). No avian blood meals were unambiguously identified. Larvae were also collected, mostly from tires but also from buckets and from one tree hole. Only one larva was found in a puddle at 100 m of the tire storage. A first local treatment of Ae. j. japonicus larvae population was done in May 2012 using Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) and was followed by preventive actions and public information. A monitoring is also presently implemented. © 2014 Damiens et al.


Boukraa S.,University of Liège | Dekoninck W.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Versteirt V.,Precision Pest Management Unit | Schaffner F.,Precision Pest Management Unit | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2015

Most information about the systematics and bioecology of Belgian mosquitoes dates back from before 1950, and only scattered information was produced during the last decades. In this paper we review and update the list of mosquito species recorded in Belgium, from first report (1908) to 2015. Six genera and 31 species were recorded so far, including 28 autochthonous species and three invasive alien species recently recorded in Belgium: Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894), Ae. japonicus japonicus (Theobald 1901), and Ae. koreicus (Edwards 1917). The six genera are Anopheles (five species), Aedes (sixteen species), Coquillettidia (one species), Culex (four species), Culiseta (four species), and Orthopodomyia (one species). © 2015 The Society for Vector Ecology.


PubMed | Institute of Tropical Medicine, Precision Pest Management Unit, Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences and University of Liège
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology | Year: 2015

Most information about the systematics and bioecology of Belgian mosquitoes dates back from before 1950, and only scattered information was produced during the last decades. In this paper we review and update the list of mosquito species recorded in Belgium, from first report (1908) to 2015. Six genera and 31 species were recorded so far, including 28 autochthonous species and three invasive alien species recently recorded in Belgium: Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894), Ae. japonicus japonicus (Theobald 1901), and Ae. koreicus (Edwards 1917). The six genera are Anopheles (five species), Aedes (sixteen species), Coquillettidia (one species), Culex (four species), Culiseta (four species), and Orthopodomyia (one species).

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