Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Continental mosquito with 'vector' potential found breeding in UK after 60 year absence

Date:
February 8, 2012
Source:
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Summary:
A species of mosquito has been discovered breeding in the UK that has not been seen in the country since 1945. Populations of the mosquito, found across mainland Europe and known only by its Latin name Culex modestus, were recorded at a number of sites in the marshes of north Kent and south Essex in 2010 and 2011.

A species of mosquito not seen in the UK since 1945 has been discovered breeding in the country. Populations of the mosquito, found across mainland Europe and known only by its Latin name Culex modestus, were recorded at sites in the marshes of north Kent and south Essex in 2010 and 2011.

The discovery was made by postgraduate student Nick Golding, and the mosquito was definitively identified by colleague Stefanie Schδfer of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). The mosquito was also concurrently found by medical entomologists at the Health Protection Agency as part of their nationwide mosquito surveillance programme. Details of a collaborative study between CEH and the HPA are published February 9, 2012 in the journal Parasites and Vectors.

Culex modestus is suspected to transmit West Nile virus (WNV) to humans during sporadic epidemics in southern Europe. However, to date, WNV has never been found in the UK so there is no known current risk to humans living here. The virus primarily infects birds, but when the pathogen is transmitted from birds to humans by the bite of a mosquito it can very occasionally cause severe disease, although it usually causes only asymptomatic or mild infections.

Lead author Nick Golding said, "It is unclear how long Culex modestus has been breeding in the UK -- the new specimens were found during field studies in 2010 and 2011 -- but it seems likely that the species has arrived fairly recently. A handful of individuals were collected on the south coast in the 1940s, but didn't appear to be an established population. Since those records the species hasn't been seen again in the UK, until now."

Dr Miles Nunn from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who is Nick Golding's doctoral supervisor, said, "Not all mosquito species can transmit West Nile virus to people. In continental Europe, Culex modestus is able to because the virus can reproduce inside the mosquito and the mosquito feeds on both humans and on birds which are the main host of West Nile virus. Once the mosquito's salivary glands become infected the virus is secreted into the host (man or bird) in saliva when the mosquito feeds. However, in the UK the mosquitoes' biting habits and ability to transmit West Nile virus have yet to be investigated."

Nick Golding, Dr Nunn and colleagues at CEH, the HPA and Oxford University are continuing to work together to establish just how widespread these mosquitoes are and whether there is any risk to human health. They have been using satellite imagery in order to identify habitats where the mosquito might be breeding, before looking for it on the ground.

Nick is also studying Culex modestus and other mosquitoes to determine the specific habitat within the marshes in which they breed and what effect wetland management has on this habitat.

Dr Nunn added, "Culex modestus is difficult to distinguish from related mosquitoes that are less likely to transmit viruses to humans. Its discovery highlights the importance of expert long-term biological recording of UK wildlife by the scientific community."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nick Golding, Miles A Nunn, Jolyon M Medlock, Bethan V Purse, Alexander G C Vaux, Stefanie M Schafer. West Nile virus vector Culex modestus established in southern England. Parasites & Vectors, 2012; 5 (1): 32 DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-32

Cite This Page:

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. "Continental mosquito with 'vector' potential found breeding in UK after 60 year absence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208220215.htm>.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. (2012, February 8). Continental mosquito with 'vector' potential found breeding in UK after 60 year absence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208220215.htm
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. "Continental mosquito with 'vector' potential found breeding in UK after 60 year absence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208220215.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins