The invasive Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus in Romania: towards a country-wide colonization?
Currently, five invasive Aedes mosquito species are of concern in Europe according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, Ae. atropalpus, Ae. japonicus, and Ae. koreicus. Among these, only Ae. albopictus was reported to occur in Romania, in Bucharest. The aim of this study was to update the knowledge on the distribution of this invasive mosquito species in Romania, by investigating new potential locations. Monitoring of Ae. albopictus was carried out between May 2017 and October 2018. Three types of traps (CDC-Gravid Traps, CDC miniature Light Traps, ovitraps) were placed in 53 localities in 13 counties at sites suitable for container-breeding mosquitoes. Collected adult mosquitoes were counted and identified according to morphological criteria. Larvae were found present in domestic containers and rain catch basins. Aedes albopictus adults and eggs were collected in 10 localities in eight counties across Romania. Our study confirms nine new localities and seven counties where Ae. albopictus became established in Romania, highlighting the need for surveillance to further assess the species' distribution and abundance, as well as the pathogen transmission risk related to that vector species.