Mosquitoes and the Risk of Pathogen Transmission in Europe

Part of the Parasitology Research Monographs book series (Parasitology Res. Monogr., volume 10)


Worldwide, mosquitoes are known as nuisance biters and disease-transmitting vectors causing about one million deaths annually. In Europe, around 100 mosquito species have been described with the medically most relevant species belonging to the genera Aedes, Anopheles and Culex. Due to several climatic and non-climatic factors, some mosquito species as well as pathogens were either newly introduced or reintroduced to Europe within the last decades and have been causing different outbreaks of diseases. Currently, the risk of an infection with a mosquito-borne disease like dengue and chikungunya fever is higher in Mediterranean countries than in the north of Europe and can be partly ascribed to the establishment of Aedes albopictus, which is one of the most invasive mosquito species worldwide and a competent vector species for several diseases. Ecological niche modelling implies that Aedes albopictus could spread further north with the warming climate in the future. As species monitoring is cost and time-consuming, ecological niche modelling could help identify potential new habitats for mosquito establishment, in order to better target areas for monitoring and surveillance programmes to those at greatest risk. However, mosquito species native to Europe, like members of the Culex pipiens complex, can also act as vectors for pathogens like the West Nile virus and therefore should also be considered in those programmes.


Ecological niche modelling Europe Health threat Invasive mosquitoes Pathogens Vector-borne disease 



This present research was funded by the ERA-Net BiodivERsA, with the national funding body DFG KL 2087/6-1, FWF I-1437 and ANR-13-EBID-0007-01 as part of the 2012–2013 BiodivERsA call for research proposals, and by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), grant number 2819105115, the Graduate School IMPact-Vector funded by the Senate Competition Committee grant (SAW-2014-SGN-3) of the Leibniz Association and the Uniscientia Stiftung.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goethe University (GU), Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F), Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN)Frankfurt am MainGermany

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