Global distribution and continuing spread of Aedes albopictus

Parassitologia. 1995 Dec;37(2-3):91-7.


Aedes albopictus ranks second only to Ae. aegypti in importance to man as a vector of dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) which viruses place at risk a potential population of 2 billion people living in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Due to its predilection for breeding in a plethora of habitat within urban and suburban environs as well as peri-rural areas it is spreading rapidly where suitable breeding is available. It exhibits strain differences ranging from the cold-hardy to tropic loving, yet despite limited flight range, it has spread beyond the Orient to China, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean islands, the Americas, parts of continental Africa and into southern Europe. This has been done principally by means of transport of eggs in used tyres via rapid air and sea transport. Egg positive used tyres, when shipped, and later rehydrated by rainfall, produce adult mosquitoes within a few days rapidly infesting new areas. Although dengue and other vector-borne arboviral diseases have not been in Europe in epidemic form for many decades, travelers do not infrequently return from dengue endemic areas with dengue and other similar infections. Aedes albopictus is a potential vector of a number of arboviruses and can transmit them in a vertical or transvenereal manner in nature, thereby providing a means for their maintenance and transmission. Where Ae. albopictus newly occurs, the affected populace immediately are aware of a new daytime, nuisance biting mosquito and complaints addressed to local mosquito control authorities increase significantly. The biological characteristics of the mosquito make its spread within Europe highly probable. The paper offers several avenues to be pursued to reduce the global spread of Ae. albopictus, when examined within the context of Europe and the wider world community.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aedes* / growth & development
  • Aedes* / virology
  • Animals
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Dengue Virus*
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Ecology
  • Female
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors* / growth & development
  • Insect Vectors* / virology
  • Mosquito Control* / methods