The mosquito plague follows the mild winter



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Spread of exotic mosquito species favored by mild temperatures

The unusually mild winter, which has already been declared over, means that a real mosquito plague can be expected in the coming year, Professor Sven Klimpel from the Senckenberg Society for Natural Research told the news agency "dpa". The spread of exotic mosquito species, such as the Asian bush mosquito or the Asian tiger mosquito, is also favored by such a mild winter.

According to the expert, the exotic mosquito species can spread ever further north due to the general climate changes and the disappearance of pronounced seasons. A mild winter comes very well for them, the Senckenberg researcher emphasized. However, the domestic mosquitoes also benefit from the mild weather. The experts expect a real mosquito plague for the coming year. As soon as the temperatures reach well over ten degrees Celsius for a few days, development begins in the wintered mosquito eggs, explained Professor Klimpel. Then the larvae hatch, which live in the water and grow up. According to the expert, no larvae have been found so far, but should the temperatures remain so mild, "it could quickly lead to a local, increased occurrence of mosquitoes."

Exotic mosquito species promote the spread of infectious diseases The increasing prevalence of exotic mosquito species also increases the risk of spreading diseases that have not yet occurred in this country, such as West Nile fever or dengue fever. The mosquitoes are ideal carriers of such viruses, explained Professor Klimpel. A so-called vector competence is attributed to you here. After the mosquitoes have absorbed the blood of infected people or animals, they can use the next bite to release the pathogens into the wound with their saliva. Therefore, the growing spread of exotic mosquito species is viewed with concern by the experts. For example, independent populations of the Asian bush mosquito that also hibernate here have now been found in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. The Asian tiger mosquito has been discovered several times in southern Germany, but according to Professor Klimpel, it has so far not been an independent population. However, both types of mosquitoes will "spread in Europe and migrate further and further north", the Klimpel emphasized to the "dpa".

Mosquito monitoring for risk assessment The Senckenberg Society for Natural Research reports that mosquitoes are "considered the most important vectors of vector-associated infectious agents worldwide". In Germany, it is estimated that "around 49 different mosquito species are native." At least some of them are potential carriers of diseases not previously occurring in Germany. Here "the possibility of the transmission of arboviruses, such as West Nile, Tahyna or Sindbis virus, but also the transmission of certain worms (dirofilaria) are being increasingly discussed and researched," writes the Senckenberg Society for Natural Research. In order to better assess the risks, so-called mosquito monitoring is carried out, which records the spread of the mosquito species in a "mosquito map for Germany". In addition to Professor Dr. Sven Klimpel, including scientists from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg (BNI), the Senckenberg German Entomological Institute (SDEI) and the KABS (Community Action Group to Combat the Schnakenplage). Monitoring enables changes in the local mosquito fauna to be recorded and recognized at an early stage. Accompanying laboratory tests also clarify "to what extent native species are able to transmit certain pathogens under the given conditions (vector competence)", reports the Senckenberg Society for Natural Research. (fp)

Image: Frank Hollenbach / pixelio.de

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