Mosquitoes of North-Western Europe as Potential Vectors of Arboviruses: A Review

Viruses. 2019 Nov 14;11(11):1059. doi: 10.3390/v11111059.


Background: The intensification of trade and travel is linked to the growing number of imported cases of dengue, chikungunya or Zika viruses into continental Europe and to the expansion of invasive mosquito species such as Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus. Local outbreaks have already occurred in several European countries. Very little information exists on the vector competence of native mosquitoes for arboviruses. As such, the vectorial status of the nine mosquito species largely established in North-Western Europe (Aedes cinereus and Aedes geminus, Aedes cantans, Aedes punctor, Aedes rusticus, Anopheles claviger s.s., Anopheles plumbeus, Coquillettidia richiardii, Culex pipiens s.l., and Culiseta annulata) remains mostly unknown.

Objectives: To review the vector competence of both invasive and native mosquito populations found in North-Western Europe (i.e., France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland) for dengue, chikungunya, Zika, West Nile and Usutu viruses.

Methods: A bibliographical search with research strings addressing mosquito vector competence for considered countries was performed.

Results: Out of 6357 results, 119 references were related to the vector competence of mosquitoes in Western Europe. Eight species appear to be competent for at least one virus.

Conclusions: Aedes albopictus is responsible for the current outbreaks. The spread of Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus increases the risk of the autochthonous transmission of these viruses. Although native species could contribute to their transmission, more studies are still needed to assess that risk.

Keywords: Aedes; Anopheles; Culex; Culiseta; Usutu; West Nile; Zika; chikungunya; dengue; transmission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology
  • Animals
  • Anopheles / classification
  • Anopheles / virology*
  • Arbovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Arbovirus Infections / transmission*
  • Arbovirus Infections / virology*
  • Arboviruses / isolation & purification
  • Arboviruses / physiology*
  • Biodiversity
  • Communicable Diseases, Imported / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Imported / virology
  • Culex / virology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mosquito Vectors / virology*
  • Population Dynamics