Detection of the Invasive Mosquito Species Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Portugal
National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Centre for Vectors and Infectious Diseases Research, Avenida da Liberdade 5, 2965-575 Águas de Moura, Portugal
Instituto de Saúde Ambiental, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, Ed. Egas Moniz, Piso 0, Ala C, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute (BioISI), Edificio TecLabs, Campus da FCUL, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Administração Regional de Saúde do Norte, I.P., Departamento de Saúde Pública, Rua Anselmo Braamcamp, 144, 4000-078 Porto, Portugal
Agrupamento de Centros de Saúde de Vale de Sousa Sul—Unidade de Saúde Pública, Avenida Comendador Abílio Seabra, 104, 4580-029 Paredes, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 820; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15040820
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito originating from the Asia-Pacific region. This species is of major concern to public and veterinary health because of its vector role in the transmission of several pathogens, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses. In Portugal, a National Vector Surveillance Network (REde de VIgilância de VEctores—REVIVE) is responsible for the surveillance of autochthonous, but also invasive, mosquito species at points of entry, such as airports, ports, storage areas, and specific border regions with Spain. At these locations, networks of mosquito traps are set and maintained under surveillance throughout the year. In September 2017, Ae. albopictus was detected for the first time in a tyre company located in the North of Portugal. Molecular typing was performed, and a preliminary phylogenetic analysis indicated a high similarity with sequences of Ae. albopictus collected in Europe. A prompt surveillance response was locally implemented to determine its dispersal and abundance, and adult mosquitoes were screened for the presence of arboviral RNA. A total of 103 specimens, 52 immatures and 51 adults, were collected. No pathogenic viruses were detected. Despite the obtained results suggest low abundance of the population locally introduced, the risk of dispersal and potential establishment of Ae. albopictus in Portugal has raised concern for autochthonous mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.