Meeting Report: Expert consultation on guidelines for the surveillance of native mosquitoes

Meeting report
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Expert consultation on guidelines for the surveillance of native mosquitoes– Meeting report, Stockholm, 21–22 January 2014. Stockholm: ECDC; 2014.

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​This report provides the conclusions of an expert consultation on the value and usefulness of draft guidelines for the surveillance of native mosquitoes.

Executive summary

Vector-borne diseases are a specific group of infections that represent a burden of disease and (re-)emerging threat to Europe requiring particular attention. The presence of a competent vector in an area does not by itself result in the transmission of vector-borne pathogens but it is the basic requirement for transmission to occur in this area. Some mosquito-borne diseases (MBD), such as West Nile fever, are already present in several European countries. The potential vectors of these diseases are widespread across Europe, but detailed information on their distribution and abundance is scarce. These vectors include mosquitoes from different genera: Anopheles (e.g. An. atroparvus, An. labranchiae and An. sacharovi vectors of malaria); Aedes (e.g. Ae. vexa ns involved in the transmission of Sindbis fever) and Culex (e.g. Cx. pipiens ‘group’, Cx. modestus and several other species can transmit West Nile and Tahyna viruses)1. There is a need to be better prepared at the European level regarding these threats. The surveillance of these mosquito vectors will provide the necessary information to develop appropriate and timely response and therefore help to prevent human disease associated with mosquito-borne viruses.

In order to support the systematic collection of data about vector distribution in Europe, and as a first step, ECDC developed guidelines for the surveillance of invasive mosquito species in Europe2 in 2012. In this second step, ECDC aims to support the surveillance of other mosquito vectors of public health importance, through the extension of the guidelines to native mosquitoes. This will contribute to identify or better define the spatial distribution of these native species; and in areas where they are established, the surveillance of abundance and further spread is needed for timely risk assessment of pathogen transmission and to prevent or control outbreaks of vector-borne diseases.

In line with the first guidelines, the new guidelines shall provide comprehensive and practical information to help the implementation of native mosquito surveillance in Europe. The guidelines are based on the same structure as the existing ECDC guidelines in order to achieve, at the end, two complementary guidelines that will ensure a comprehensive coverage of surveillance activities within Europe, and help to provide comparable and timely information about both native and invasive mosquito vectors. In the longer term, ECDC would like to present the different parts of the two guidelines in dedicated html pages on its website, in order to make access to relevant information easier for end-users.