Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

A literature review of host feeding patterns of invasive aedes mosquitoes in Europe.

Abstract

Aedes invasive mosquitoes (AIMs) play a key role as vectors of several pathogens of public health relevance. Four species have been established in Europe, including Aedes aegypti, Aedesalbopictus, Aedes japonicus and Aedes koreicus. In addition, Aedes atropalpus has been repeatedly recorded although it has not yet been established. In spite of their importance in the transmission of endemic (e.g., heartworms) and imported pathogens (e.g., dengue virus), basic information of parameters affecting their vectorial capacity is poorly investigated. The aim of this study is to review the blood feeding patterns of these invasive mosquito species in Europe, summarizing available information from their native and introduced distribution ranges. The feeding patterns of mosquitoes constitute a key parameter affecting the contact rates between infected and susceptible hosts, thus playing a central role in the epidemiology of mosquito-borne pathogens. Our results highlight that these mosquito species feed on the blood of different vertebrate groups from ectotherms to birds and mammals. However, humans represent the most important source of blood for these species, accounting for 36% and 93% of hosts identified for Ae. japonicus and Ae. aegypti, respectively. In spite of that, limited information has been obtained for some particular species, such as Ae. koreicus, or it is restricted to a few particular areas. Given the high vector competence of the four AIM species for the transmission of different emerging arboviruses such as dengue, Chikungunya, Zika or Yellow fever viruses and their high feeding rates on humans, these AIM species may have an important impact on the vectorial capacity for such pathogens on urban and periurban areas. Finally, we propose directions for future research lines based on identified knowledge gaps.