The Asian bush or rock pool mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus is one of the most expansive culicid species of the world. Being native to East Asia, this species was detected out of its original distribution range for the first time in the early 1990s in New Zealand where it could not establish, though. In 1998, established populations were reported from the eastern US, most likely as a result of introductions several years earlier. After a massive spread the mosquito is now widely distributed in eastern North America including Canada and two US states on the western coast. In the year 2000, it was demonstrated for the first time in Europe, continental France, but could be eliminated. A population that had appeared in Belgium in 2002 was not controlled until 2012 as it did not propagate. In 2008, immature developmental stages were discovered in a large area in northern Switzerland and bordering parts of Germany. Subsequent studies in Germany showed a wide distribution and several populations of the mosquito in various federal states. Also in 2011, the species was found in southeastern Austria (Styria) and neighbouring Slovenia. In 2013, a population was detected in the Central Netherlands, specimens were collected in southern Alsace, France, and the complete northeastern part of Slovenia was found colonized, with specimens also present across borders in adjacent Croatia. Apparently, at the end of 2013 a total of six populations occurred in Europe although it is not clear whether all of them are completely isolated. Similarly, it is not known whether these populations go back to the same number of introductions. While entry ports and long-distance continental migration routes are also obscure, it is likely that the international used tyre trade is the most important mode of intercontinental transportation of the mosquito. Aedes j. japonicus does not only display an aggressive biting behaviour but is suspected to be a vector of various disease agents and to displace indigenous culicid species. Therefore, Aedes j. japonicus might both cause public health problems in the future and have a significant impact on the biodiversity of the invaded territories.
Cites: J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2013 Jun;29(2):133-723923327
Although zoonotic diseases are generally rare in Canada, a wide range of pathogens can be transmitted from animal reservoirs to humans through insect vectors or direct contact with wild and domestic animals. Across the country researchers with backgrounds ranging from wildlife biology to parasitology and epidemiology are tracking a variety of zoonotic diseases, some of which are causing increasing concern among public health officials.
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