Category Archives: 10 th March

Mario Lombardo

5th European Mosquito Control Association
Workshop Turin, ITALY 9th – 13th March 2009
Conference Hall, 23rd Corso Stati Uniti
Welcome address of Local Authorities
Turin is an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy.
Main Sights

  • The best known building of the city is the Mole Antonelliana, which today houses the National Cinema Museum.
  • The Palatine Towers are among the best preserved Roman remains in northern Italy.
  • The Cathedral of St John the Baptist houses the Shroud of Turin, an old linen cloth with an imprint of a man, which is believed by many to be the cloth that covered Jesus in his grave.
  • Nearby is the former royal residence: the seventeenth-century Palazzo Reale.
  • The Museo Egizio has the most important collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world after the Cairo Museum.
  • Turin has buildings of great historical and architectural interest: the complex of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin and in the nearby cities of Rivoli, Moncalieri, Venaria Reale, Agli, Racconigi, Stupinigi, Pollenzo and Govone was declared in 1997 a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
  • Its gardens include the Orto Botanico dell’Universit di Torino, a historic botanical garden.
  • Turin is home to Palazzo Chiablese, the Royal Armoury, the Royal Library, Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, Gran Madre Church, and the Valentino Castle.
  • In the hills overlooking the city is the Basilica Church of Superga.


President European Mosquito Control Association (EMCA), Sant Feliu De Llobregat (E)
An overview of emergine mosquito-borne diseases and the increasing importance of climate
change and globalisation.
(con traduzione)

Welcome address from the EMCA President
The European Mosquito Control Association (EMCA) takes pleasure in inviting you to participate
in the 5th Workshop of the Association, which will be held on 9-13 March 2009, in the dynamic and beautiful city of Turin, Italy.
All scientists, technicians and those involved in mosquito control are invited to submit presentations to the different symposia of the meeting. This annual conference will be an excellent forum for
exchanging the most current information on applied aspects of mosquito control and other closely related issues.
The focus of the meeting in Turin will be devoted to current issues of concern including the risk to public health due to the potential spread of Chikungunya and other vector-borne diseases in Europe.
Other related themes including the impact of climate change, use of GIS/GPS in mosquito control operations and registration and use of biocides in Europe will provide a varied and exciting programme.
We are pleased that there will be key presentations from well established international experts also will promote the initiatives of young researchers encouraging them to participate actively.
On behalf of EMCA, I would like to thank the various Italian public administration bodies and private sponsors that have supported the organization of this meeting. It is our wish at EMCA that this unique and exciting occasion facilitates the exchange of the most current evidence based scientific information in order to maximise vector control practices in Europe.
Carlos ARANDA, EMCA President

Mino Taricco

Welcome address of Local Authorities
Mario Lombardo, Mino Taricco
Turin is an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy.
Main Sights

  • The best known building of the city is the Mole Antonelliana, which today houses the National Cinema Museum.
  • The Palatine Towers are among the best preserved Roman remains in northern Italy.
  • The Cathedral of St John the Baptist houses the Shroud of Turin, an old linen cloth with an imprint of a man, which is believed by many to be the cloth that covered Jesus in his grave.
  • Nearby is the former royal residence: the seventeenth-century Palazzo Reale.
  • The Museo Egizio has the most important collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world after the Cairo Museum.
  • Turin has buildings of great historical and architectural interest: the complex of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin and in the nearby cities of Rivoli, Moncalieri, Venaria Reale, Agli, Racconigi, Stupinigi, Pollenzo and Govone was declared in 1997 a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
  • Its gardens include the Orto Botanico dell’Universit di Torino, a historic botanical garden.
  • Turin is home to Palazzo Chiablese, the Royal Armoury, the Royal Library, Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, Gran Madre Church, and the Valentino Castle.
  • In the hills overlooking the city is the Basilica Church of Superga.

Luigi Bertolotti

West Nile Virus emergence in Piedmont, Northern Italy: from molecular to computational approaches

Francesco, C., Bertolotti, L., Giacobini, M. Department of Animal Productions, Epidemiology and Ecology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; University of Torino, via Leonardo d Vinci, 44, IT-10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy Computational Biology Unit, Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Torino, via Nizza 52, IT-10126 Torino, Italy

West Nile virus (WNv) belonging to the genus Flavivirus, is the etiological agent of vector borne zoonoses in Africa, Middle-East, Europe and USA. WNv is transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to
the genus Culex and Aedes and knowledge on the WNv infection risk is essential to understanding the transmission potential in Piedmont.
The main goal of this work is to collate data from satellite imaging and remote sensing to detect areas favorable for the maintenance of vector population, paticularly Aedes albopictus. Following the identification of risk areas, field collection in different areas and periods for various mosquito vectors and birds will be conducted. In addition, blood collection from both domestic and wild ungulates will be carried out. Piedmont is on the bird migratory routes from Sahara and Central Africa, and this is a key aspect for the epidemiological study and prevention of WNV spreading and
infection. Vectors will be identified and nucleic amplification protocols (RT-PCR, PCR) will be used to detect the presence of WNV and to identify vector hosts.


Martina Schafer

The present distribution and predicted geographic expansion of the floodwater mosquito Aedes sticticus in Sweden

Martina Schäfer & Jan O. Lundström
Department of Ecology and Evolution / Population Biology & Conservation Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden and Swedish Biological Mosquito Control Project, Gysinge, Sweden.

Mass emergence of floodwater mosquitoes, in particular Aedes sticticus and Aedes vexans, cause substantial nuisance and reduce life quality for inhabitants of infested areas, and can have a negative
impact on the socio-economic conditions of a region. We compared the previous, present and predicted future geographic distribution of Ae. sticticus in Sweden. Previous records from the literature until 1990 list the species in three out of 21 Swedish counties. Studies from 1998 and onwards show that the present distribution of the species covers 11 counties, with highest abundances in an east-west belt in Central Sweden. Using climate data from the present and
predicted climate scenarios, the expected distribution of Ae. sticticus in 2020, 2050 and 2080 could be modelled in a GIS. As variables, mean temperatures and cumulative precipitation between May and August and degree slope were chosen. The predicted future geographic distribution of Ae.
sticticus will continue to increase and include 20 out of 21 Swedish counties. The expected temperature rise will increase the suitable area towards the northern part of Sweden by 2050. Some non-suitable areas can be found along the south-east cost due to insufficient amount of precipitation in 2050 and 2080. Modelling the expected distribution of a species using predicted climate change scenarios provides a valuable tool for risk assessments and early-warning systems that is easily applied for different species and scenarios.


Eva Veronesi

Variation in transmission competence of Culicoides, and the genetic basis for differences in transmissibility of BTV strains


E. Veronesi, P. Mertens, P. Mellor, S. Carpenter– Institute for Animal Health-Pirbright – Woking (United Kingdom)
Bluetongue is a non-contagious infectious arthropode-borne viral disease of domesticated and wild ruminants caused by a virus belongs to family Reoviridae genus Orbivirus. So far, 24 different serotypes have been discovered all over the world, between latitudes 35°S and 44°N. Just recently, August 2006, the spreading of the disease in Europe has reached latitude of 52°N with a total number of 17 European countries affected by 7 serotypes.
The transmission between vertebrate hosts is due to the bite of certain species of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae).
Several aspects of the epidemiological system of BTV in Europe still remain poorly understood. In particular, the mechanisms controlling barriers to infection, replication and release of BTV from the gut wall cells and the degree of adaptation required by the virus to allow entry into new vector species.
In this work, we have investigated the effect that multiple passages of BTV, isolated from an infected animal in the field, have in virus genome. BTV-8 blood isolated in the UK in 2006 was passaged several times in KC cells (C. sonorenis) and BHK-21.
The cDNAs from the multiple cell passages were analysed to investigate possible changes in the genome sequence. Results are given for 2 out of 10 segments of the whole genome: Seg-7 encoding for protein VP7 that is considered to be the main species (serogroup) specific antigen for all BTV serotypes and Seg-10, encoding for NS3 protein that seems to be involved in the released of the virus from infected cells after its replication.

Bulent Alten

Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum and transmitted by Phlebotomus tobbi : a meta analysis related with climatic data

Milena Svobodová*, Bulent Alten**, Lenka Zídková*, Vít Dvořák*, Jitka Hlavačková*, Jitka Myšková*, Veronika Šeblová*, Ozge Erisoz Kasap**, Asli Belen**, Jan Votýpka*, Petr Volf*
* Department of Parasitology, Charles University, Vinicna 7,
Prague, 128 44, Czech Republic
** Hacettepe University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, 06532 Beytepe, Ankara, Turkey

Transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by Leishmania infantum was studied in South Anatolia, Turkey. Small, nonulcerating lesions prevailed and patients were negative in rK39 tests for antibody detection in human visceral leishmaniasis. The most abundant sand fly species, Phlebotomus tobbi, was found repeatedly positive for promastigotes, Leishmania prevalence in P. tobbi was 1,4% (13 out of 898 dissected females). The isolated strains were identical with those obtained from patients with CL, and were typed as L. infantum. Phylogenetic analysis revealed similarity to MON-188 and clear difference from MON-1 clade. Phlebotomus tobbi belongs to permissive vectors, as revealed by the presence of O-glycoproteins in female midgut. Bloodmeal identification showed that it feeds preferentially on cattle and humans. This finding, together with high number of CL patients and relative scarcity of dogs in the focus, suggests that the transmission cycle could be anthroponotic. In this study, as a meta analysis, we evaluated all the results together with climatic data collected throughout the study
period, altitude and also distribution of vector species.

Mattia Calzolari

West Nile Virus surveillance in mosquitoes in Emilia-Romagna (Italy)

Mattia Calzolari, Paolo Bonilauri, Francesco Defilippo1, Giulia Maioli, Romeo Bellini2, Rodolfo Veronesi, Alessandro Albieri, Paola Angelini, Ilaria Barbieri, Davide Lelli, Antonio Lavazza,
Marco Tamba, Vittorio Sambri, Michele Dottori.

In the summer 2008 a large epidemic of West Nile Fever (WN) occurred in three different Regions of Northern Italy (Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardia), causing 32 diagnosed cases in horses and 4 in humans.
An active entomological surveillance plan was started by the Emilia-Romagna Surveillance Group on Vectorial Disease in 2007. In the 2008 season a total of 78 stations were activated by CO2 baited
traps in Bologna and Ferrara provinces, 40 stations historically operating for mosquito density monitoring and 38 stations specifically positioned after the first evidence of disease in equine.
Mosquitoes were pooled according to date, location and species, grinded manually and tested with Flavivirus genus RT-PCR and with WNV Real Time PCR. In total 38791 mosquitoes were
analyzed, most of them belonging to the species Culex pipiens, Ochlerotatus caspius, Aedes albopictus and Aedes vexans. Two pools of Cx. pipiens (one collected in Cona, Ferrara province, on
September 23th, and the other collected in Argelato, Bologna province, on September 30th) resulted positive in PCR for the presence of RNA belonging to the Flavivirus genus and also for the
presence of WNV. Virus isolation was attempted starting from the two PCR positive pools by using different cells culture (Vero, Bhk21, Rk13, C6/C36) and by inoculation of SPF chicken embryonated eggs but no WNV grown was obtained.
The sequence of the amplified fragments (part of NS5 gene) obtained from of the two positive pools were identical and BLAST analysis showed a highest similarity with two isolates from the same
outbreak in Emilia-Romagna – one from magpie (Pica pica) (100% homology, FJ472945) and one from human (99% homology, FJ472946). For a more accurate molecular characterization of WNV
the complete sequence of the viral genome was required and that was possible only with an appropriate amount of viral RNA. As the isolation of virus in PCR positive pooled mosquitoes failed the determination of the whole genome sequence of the virus was precluded. Nevertheless the partial sequences obtained supported the specificity WN-PCR detections and were sufficient to
preliminarily classify WNV strains as belonging to lineage 1.
Direct detection of WN from mosquito vector is a rare event and confirms the high viral activity in the survey area. The maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) per 1000 mosquitoes obtained by
grouping weekly homogeneous samples together results 0.69 (CI 0.04-3.37) for the week of first positivity (22/09-28/09) and 1.82 (CI 0.11-8.82) for the week of the second one (29/09-04/10).


Patricia Valle Trujillo

Colonisation patterns of Catalonia (northeast Spain) by the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus): trends from 2004 to 2008
Antoni Torrell, Jordi Ruiz, Mariano Rojo: Flora, Fauna and Pet Protection Service, Government of Catalonia,
Barcelona, Spain. Roger Eritja: Mosquito Control Service, Regional Council of El Baix Llobregat, Spain. Eduard Marquès: Mosquito Control Service of Roses Bay and the Lower Ter, Castelló d’Empúries, Spain.
Presented by: Patricia Valle Trujillo: Public Health Manager – Kenogard Spain.
Aedes albopictus was initially detected in Spain in 2004 (Aranda et al.) in the municipality of St. Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona province). In the last 5 years, the tiger mosquito population has spread, and stable populations of this mosquito being currently to be found in 85 municipalities in Catalonia, potentially affecting over 4 million people.
2005 saw the establishment of a Working Group that comprises the Departments of Health and of the Environment of the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Barcelona Public Health Agency, the Regional Councils of El Baix Llobregat (including the group Mosquito Control Service) and El Vallès Occidental and different municipalities where presence was potential.
To fight the tiger mosquito, this Working Party established the following priorities:

  • Communication of the problem, since some preventive control measures on a private level stem from notification.
  • Coordination of control work on a municipal scale.
  • Monitoring to determine dispersion and the colonisation of new sites by Aedes albopictus.
  • Advising population.

In 2005, ovitraps were used to characterise the tiger mosquito population in Catalonia and to accurately determine the municipalities affected and with what intensity.
The 2006 study left no doubt that the tiger mosquito was clearly expanding throughout Catalonia. Not only was it spreading like an oil stain; it was also travelling large distances, which was demonstrated by its presence in municipalities located several kilometres from the initial concentration.
In 2007, monitoring of the species continued to determine its evolution and its rate of expansion, bearing in mind the likelihood that the mosquito would continue to colonise new territories close to those already affected. Nonetheless, the possible appearance of concentrations that were isolated and distant from the risk
area also had to be considered.
The 2008 study has shown that the colonisation of new territories by this mosquito has not stopped, mainly because of: climate, the large number of available breeding sites, and the great mobility of vehicles in Catalonia.
A predictive model is being developed to asses the final scenario for the presence of the species.

Piero Poletti

Estimating the basic reproductive number and the impact of containment measures during the Italian chikungunya outbreak
Caterina Rizzo, Piero Poletti2, Marco Ajelli, Thomas Seyler,4, Andrea Pugliese3, Marta Luisa Ciofi
degli Atti1,5, Stefania Salmaso, Stefano Merler


  1. National Center for Epidemiology Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
  2. Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy
  3. Department of Mathematics, University of Trento, Trento, Italy
  4. European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Ospedale Pediatrico “Bambino Gesù”, Roma, Italy

During summer 2007, Italy experienced the first outbreak of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) documented in a temperate climate country. The infection is transmitted through the bite of an
infected Aedes mosquito. A total of 217 laboratory confirmed CHIKV cases were reported from 15 July 2007 to 28 September 2007. In order to assess control measures implemented we investigated the transmission dynamics of the CHIKV outbreak. As a first step, we estimated the basic reproduction number (R0) of the outbreak.
We used a system of ordinary differential equations to model the dynamics of the outbreak and assumed homogenous mixing between host and vector populations. We used two methods to
estimate R0. The first method relied on the estimation of the intrinsic growth rate and parameters such as the duration of viremia in humans and the extrinsic and intrinsic incubation period. The
second method required an estimate of the biting rate and the total number of vectors. We estimated these parameters by fitting the model to the epidemic curve using a least-square algorithm.
Using the intrinsic growth rate, R0 had a mean value of 3.62 (95%CI: 3.11-4.21). Fitting the model to the epidemic curve, R0 had a mean value of 3.93 (95%CI: 3.17-4.79). The two distributions of
R0 were not significantly different.
These results suggest that without vector control measures the attack rate in the initial affected villages could have been as high as 90%. Considering the effectiveness of control measures
implemented during the outbreak, our results strongly suggest that the use of pyrethroids against adult mosquitoes and anti-larval products from 18 August 2007 onwards, together with an active
information campaign on personal protection, limited the outbreak.

David Roiz

Paper 1.4
West Nile Virus surveillance in mosquitoes in Emilia-Romagna (Italy)

Risk assessment of the emergence of new arboviruses diseases transmitted by the Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus (diptera: culicidae) in the autonomous province of Trento

Roiz D.1*, Neteler M. 1, Rosà R. 1, Vazquez A. 2, Arnoldi D. 1, Castellani C. 1, Tenorio A. 2 & Rizzoli A. 1
1 Edmund Mach Foundation. Centre for Alpine Ecology. Trento, Italy
2 Arboviruses and imported diseases. National Centre of Microbiology. Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. To whom
correspondence should be addressed.
The invasive vector Aedes albopictus has spread rapidly around the world implying risks for arboviruses transmission as the recent Chikungunya outbreak in Italy proved. The Risktiger Project
is being develop from 2007 to 2010 to evaluate and prevent the emergence of arboviruses cycles transmitted by the tiger mosquito in the Autonomous Province of Trento, Northern Italy.
This project implements a multidisciplinary approach including evaluation of optimal areas with remote sensing, ovitraps survey to evaluate current distribution, BG-trap intensive survey for
population characterization, molecular research of arbovirus with RT-PCR, and integration of all data to prevent arboviruses emergence in this area. Satellite data analysis combined with ovitraps surveys contribute as a new methodology to evaluate current and optimal distribution areas based in MODIS land surface temperatures in GRASS Open Source software, intensive BG-trap survey contribute as an useful tool for population characterization and for obtaining samples for arbovirusscreening, and generic RT-PCR contribute for the identification of a wide range of
Preliminary results are presented including: detection of other mosquito species, screening for arbovirus, optimal and current distribution, competition with autochthonous species and influence
of climatic and ecological variables in distribution, density, sex-ratio, seasonality, hatching and diapausing of Aedes albopictus in Trentino.

Charles MBOGO

Kenya Medical Research Institue-Kenya
Abstract: Malaria is a major cause of infant mortality and is the only insect borne parasitic disease comparable in impact to the world’s major killer transmissable diseases: diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, tuberculosis and AIDS. In 1992, the Global Strategy for Malaria Control was adopted in Amsterdam as a response to the increasing global malaria burden, which is now responsible for about 515 million cases and one million deaths annually. The strategy was founded on four technical elements, which included early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria, planning and implementation of selective and sustainable preventive measures including vector control, early detection, containment or prevention of epidemics,
and, strengthening of local capacities in basic and applied research. However, in most parts of Africa, the initial national action plans derived from the strategy had inadequately developed vector control components. As a result, progress in the implementation of vector control activities remained very limited. Some of the factors for the limited vector control implementation included health sector reforms and decentralization, insufficient guidance on vector control implementation, low priority to vector control with insufficient resource allocation, dismantled infrastructure, lack of technical competencies exacerbated by the high vector control staff attrition, and limited cost-effective technical options. In addition, there were growing concerns over the use of indoor residual spraying with DDT for malaria vector control. Malaria is currently one of the highest public health priorities for the international community. The B&M Gates Foundation is involved in the development of new or improved insecticide products for malaria vector control. The recent WHO position statement on IRS has brought an important change in the landscape of malaria control in
Africa. It has stimulated a renewed interest on malaria prevention with emphasis on vector control and will exploit the power of chemical based interventions in reducing and eventually stopping malaria transmission. The current and future strategies for controlling malaria mosquitoes are reviewed.


National Director European Mosquito Control Association (EMCA), Alessandria.
I progetti di controllo dei Culicidi in Piemonte. Legislazione, standards e linee guida.

This conference draws together EMCA members and other experts, public health professionals and policy makers concerned with the prevention and control of mosquito borne disease with a specific emphasis on those that pose a threat to Europe.
It focuses on the development of a shared understanding of the current situation and latest advances in vector control in Europe while also highlighting the global picture.
For this 5th EMCA meeting we have put together what we believe is an exciting programme, with contributions from a number of key international experts who are at the cutting edge of vector ecology. This workshop builds on the past successes, including the highly commended EMCA organised International symposium
in 2006 entitled ‘Ricefields and mosquitoes’ This year, in order to encourage and highlight participation from the next generation of young scientists we have provided a platform forstudents to showcase their work in our new session: “Young Researchers in Progress”.
It is envisaged that this initiative will serve to provide fledgling investigators to share, learn and be stimulated by each other as well as those more experienced scientists.I look forward to welcoming you to what promises to be the most stimulating EMCA workshop yet.
We are fortunate to be holding the next EMCA meeting in the city of Turin, a beautiful location brimming with culture and history. I hope that you will take the opportunity to explore the many pleasures that this city has to offer.
EMCA National Director