FASFC - Exotic vector and pathogen surveillance programme in Belgium - Mosquitoes & Culicoides

Dernière version Publié par Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp le 8 novembre 2021 Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Date de publication:
8 novembre 2021
CC-BY 4.0

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FASFC - Exotic vector and pathogen surveillance programme - Mosquitoes & Culicoides in Belgium is a sampling event dataset published by the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. It is part of the early detection of pathogens and vectors along high-risk introduction routes in Belgium Data were collected at defined locations using a standardized protocol in the Exotic vector and pathogen surveillance programme in Belgium, funded by the FASFC (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain).

Here, it is published as a standardized Darwin Core Archive and includes for each sampling event an eventID, date, location and sampling protocol (in the event core), and for each occurrence an occurrenceID, the number of recorded individuals, status (present/absent), identification and scientific name (in the occurrence extension). Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/BelgianBiodiversityPlatform/data-publication-ITG/issues

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use (https://www.inbo.be/en/norms-data-use) when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don't hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata.

Enregistrements de données

Les données de cette ressource occurrence ont été publiées sous forme d'une Archive Darwin Core (Darwin Core Archive ou DwC-A), le format standard pour partager des données de biodiversité en tant qu'ensemble d'un ou plusieurs tableurs de données. Le tableur de données du cœur de standard (core) contient 5 303 enregistrements.

Cet IPT archive les données et sert donc de dépôt de données. Les données et métadonnées de la ressource sont disponibles pour téléchargement dans la section téléchargements. Le tableau des versions liste les autres versions de chaque ressource rendues disponibles de façon publique et permet de tracer les modifications apportées à la ressource au fil du temps.


Le tableau ci-dessous n'affiche que les versions publiées de la ressource accessibles publiquement.

Comment citer

Les chercheurs doivent citer cette ressource comme suit:

Deblauwe I, Madder M, Brosens D (2021): FASFC - Exotic vector and pathogen surveillance programme in Belgium - Mosquitoes & Culicoides. v1.7. Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. Dataset/Occurrence. https://ipt.biodiversity.be/resource?r=favv-mosquitoes-occurrences&v=1.7


Les chercheurs doivent respecter la déclaration de droits suivante:

L’éditeur et détenteur des droits de cette ressource est Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. Ce travail est sous licence Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0.

Enregistrement GBIF

Cette ressource a été enregistrée sur le portail GBIF, et possède l'UUID GBIF suivante : 403ac8e4-dfaa-4bcd-ab2e-f30f4632b12d.  Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp publie cette ressource, et est enregistré dans le GBIF comme éditeur de données avec l'approbation du Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Occurrence; Specimen; Mosquito; Culicoides; surveillance; invasive Aedes; point of entry; introduction; ground transport; Aedes albopictus; Belgium; disease vector; farm


Personne ayant créé cette ressource:

Dimitri Brosens
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) / Belgian Biodiversity Platform

Personne pouvant répondre aux questions sur la ressource:

Personne ayant renseigné les métadonnées:

Dimitri Brosens
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) / Belgian Biodiversity Platform

Couverture géographique


Enveloppe géographique Sud Ouest [49,49, 2,53], Nord Est [51,51, 6,41]

Couverture taxonomique


Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Diptera
Superfamily Culicoidea
Family Culicidae, Ceratopogonidae

Couverture temporelle

Date de début / Date de fin 2013-04-05 / 2017-01-03

Données sur le projet

Several vector-borne diseases (e.g. Theileriosis, Babesiosis, Bluetongue Virus (BTV), Schmallenberg Virus (SBV), West-Nile Virus (WNV)) are emerging in Belgium or in other European countries and some are now endemic. The increase in international transport, the removal of quarantine measures within the EU zone and the growing tourism are responsible for the increasing risk of spread of pathogens and vectors. Climate change also exerts a significant influence on the survival and spread of arthropod vectors as well as on the vectorial capacity and competence of these exotic, but also of endemic arthropods. Strengthening surveillance of exotic vectors (mosquitoes, biting midges (Culicoides) and ticks) and their pathogens in areas at risk of importation or spread and risk of pathogen transmission is therefore required. The subset on ticks and their pathogens can be accessed here: https://doi.org/10.15468/4hzwk7 For Belgium, the following exotic vectors or vector-borne pathogens pose a risk: the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), the Asian rock pool mosquito (Aedes japonicus japonicus), Aedes koreicus, the ornate dog tick Dermacentor reticulatus and, BTV, SBV, equine Babesiosis and Theileriosis.

Titre FASFC - Exotic vector and pathogen surveillance programme in Belgium
Financement This project was financed by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain
Description du domaine d'étude / de recherche Belgium
Description du design Following the implementation of invasive mosquito surveillance in Belgium in 2012, to evaluate the guidelines of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC 2012, Deblauwe et al. 2014), the surveillance continued in 2013 including that of biting midges and ticks, and their most important pathogens. In 2014 and 2015 only invasive mosquitoes and exotic ticks (Dermacentor) were surveyed because of the necessity to intensify the surveillance measures for Ae. albopictus at two points of entry. In 2016 the focus was on Culicoides and invasive mosquitoes. As bluetongue (BTV8 since August 2015 and BTV4 since 2014) is emerging again in Europe, priority should be given to the monitoring of Culicoides. Furthermore, Ae. albopictus has become a yearly appearing threat in Belgium which also necessitated the surveillance of high-risk PoE of invasive mosquitoes in 2016.

Les personnes impliquées dans le projet:

Isra Deblauwe

Méthodes d'échantillonnage

Mosquitoes At each of the 12 PoE adult mosquitoes were captured using one CO2-trap (Mosquito Magnet™ Liberty Plus or Executive (MMLP)), which produces CO2 by burning propane. Attracted mosquitoes are then pulled in by a fan. Each PoE was sampled almost continuously (collections every two weeks) from April until October-November. MMLP traps were placed as close as possible to the breeding places (e.g. tyres, lucky bamboo vessels), the place where containers are opened with Lucky bamboo, fresh flowers, fruit or vegetables, and where cars or trucks are opened at parking lots. The captured mosquitoes and by-catch were transported in their MMLP net enclosed in a sealable, fully labelled plastic bag in a cool box. At the lab they were put in the freezer (-20°C) for at least 2h to kill the mosquitoes and to store for later sorting and identification. Five oviposition traps (ovitraps) were placed at each of the 12 PoE at a perimeter of 100m around the MMLP. They consist of a small black plastic bucket (0.5 to 2.0l, 2/3 filled with an oak infusion and sometimes with a hole preventing overflowing and flooding of the eggs) and an oviposition support (piece of polystyrene). Ovitraps were sampled every month. In the lab polystyrenes were stored at room temperature or in a fridge. The pieces of polystyrene were checked for eggs under a stereomicroscope. In 2013 and 2014, positive polystyrenes were immerged in water in secured containers, which were stored in a secured mosquito breeding room at ITM. Hatched larvae (3rd or 4th instar (L3 or L4)) were stored in 80% ethanol for identification. In case the eggs did not hatch, molecular analysis was performed on the eggs for identification. In 2015 and 2016 molecular analysis was performed immediately on the eggs for identification. At each of the 12 PoE, 1 up to 20 potential larval breeding sites (PBS) (depending on the available type of potential breeding site (tyres or other containers)), if present, were inspected. A potential breeding site is a single vessel or a group of the same vessels (e.g. a stock of tyres, lucky bamboo containers in the same shelter) in which mosquito larvae can develop. More precisely, small man-made water containers that accumulate dead leaves, algae and/or other organic matter. Also natural containers like tree holes and other similar water bodies were inspected. Larval sampling was done every two months. Each potential breeding site was sampled to maximize collection. For small sites, one dip with a plastic tray or total clearance of sites (e.g. bucket, tree hole, small water containers) was performed. For larger sites (e.g. big tyres, animal water trough) four to six dips were made with an aquarium net. Larvae were collected with a plastic pipette and put in a fully labelled vial with water (for rearing the larvae to 4th instar (L4) or to adults) or directly in 80% ethanol for later species identification. During intensified surveillance, once an IMS was detected, other traps were used to catch adult mosquitoes, the BG-Sentinel trap (Biogents) (2013 - 2016) and Frommer updraft gravid trap (John W. Hock company) (only in 2013). Also 0-19 additional oviposition traps were set-up at the PoE (if necessary indoor and outdoor) and/or in a 200-300m buffer zone around the PoE, and inspected every two or four weeks depending on the PoE. And larval sampling frequency increased to once or twice a month and up to 312 potential breeding sites were checked for larvae. The ECDC guidelines for the placement of all trap types (ECDC 2012) were taken into account. Morphological identification of adult mosquitoes and larvae was carried out using taxonomic keys (Schaffner et al. 2001, Schaffner 2003, Becker et al. 2010, ECDC 2012). Identified mosquitoes were stored dry in boxes with silica-gel. Morphological identification of adults, eggs and larvae of Ae. albopictus was confirmed by PCR and sequencing. The ITS2 region of the rDNA gene was amplified using 5.8S (5’-ATCACTCGGCTCGTGGATCG-3’) and 28S (5’-ATGCTTAAATTTAGGGGGTAGTCAC-3’) universal primers which flank the ITS2 gene (Djadid et al. 2007). A reverse primer specific for the Ae. albopictus 28S sequence was used to perform a semi-nested PCR (R28Salbo: 5’-TTGCGGGTGTTTTGTGTGTCGTC-3’) (De Jong et al. 2009). DNA was run on 2% agarose gel. Gels were stained with ethidium bromide and bands were visualized by UV trans-illumination. PCR products were cloned and DNA sequencing of selected clones was carried out by VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Antwerp) on an automated sequencer. The obtained sequences were compared to sequences submitted to GenBank. Culicoides At each of the PoE (2013) or farms (2016) one OVI 220V down-draught black light (8W) trap (ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Onderstepoort, SA) was placed at 1.5 to 2 m above ground level to capture adult Culicoides. Traps were operated twice per month during two consecutive days (48h) from April until November 2013 and 2016 (except in August 2016 only once was sampled and in July 2016 no sampling took place), and weekly from December 2016 until January 2017. Midges were collected into a 500ml cup with 60% ethanol. A few drops of soap were added to break the surface tension. After retrieval, insects were transferred to 80% ethanol, Culicoides sorted and identified up to species level (2013) or up to sub-genus level (2016). In 2013, the same MMLP trap and frequency used to capture adult mosquitoes was also used to capture adult Culicoides. Midges were transported together with the mosquitoes and by-catch in their MMLP net enclosed in a sealable, fully labelled plastic bag in a cool box. At the lab they were put in the freezer (-20°C) for at least 2h to kill the midges and to store for later sorting and identification. At least 30m distance was kept between the light trap and MMLP trap to reduce interference, as the range of attraction for female Culicoides is about 30m (Rigot & Gilbert 2012) and the MMLP trap attracts species from about 36m away (Versteirt 2012). Morphological identification of adult Culicoides was carried out using taxonomic keys (Delécolle 1985, Mathieu et al. 2012). Identified midges were stored in 80% ethanol. Culicoides samples collected in the end of May 2016 (1 sample week) and in June 2016 (3 sample weeks) were not identified as priority was given to the intensive surveillance of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus at three PoE at the same time during summer 2016.

Etendue de l'étude Mosquitoes During the previous project, the ExoSurv project (Deblauwe et al. 2012, 2014), 21 PoE’s were sampled. We reselected the 11 sites with the highest risk for import of exotic mosquitoes and midges for the FASFC project in 2013. The site at the port of Antwerp was moved to the Border Inspection Post of the FASFC as containers are opened there for the first time. Eleven of the 12 potential PoE surveyed in 2013 were also surveyed in 2014. One platform for imported used tyres, stopped its activities and was replaced by another close to the colonised area of Ae. koreicus. All 12 potential PoE surveyed in 2014 were also surveyed in 2015. Only two potential PoE surveyed in 2015 were also surveyed in 2016. A new second-hand tyre company was identified from customs data collected for another ITM project (HarmVect, Berkvens et al. 2017) and added to the selection. This company imported more than 10000000 tyres from high risk countries in both 2013 and 2014. The colonised site with Ae. koreicus at Maasmechelen was not selected as the population seemed to be stable at the moment. However, sporadic visits were made to the site and its environments to confirm its establishment and investigate its spread. The colonised site with Ae. j. japonicus at the second hand tyre company in Natoye was not surveyed as mosquito control and follow up were conducted by the Wallon government. Culicoides In 2013, Culicoides were sampled at seven of the 12 PoE where mosquitoes were surveyed. In total five farms (province of Antwerp) were selected for the monitoring of Culicoides in 2016. The farms were already sampled during the bluetongue project from FASFC between 2007 and 2012. Four sites are cattle farms, while one site was a cattle farm before 2012 but now only has horses.
Contrôle qualité Data are collected using a predefined sampling protocol and checked by professionals

Description des étapes de la méthode:

  1. Researchers from ITM defined the appropriate sampling protocol for the target species.
  2. Fieldwork was planned and coordinated by ITM
  3. Data was collected in the field by specialized personnel.
  4. The collected data was entered into an Access database
  5. The data was exported and manually corrected by experts
  6. A custom R script was created to map the original data from the Access database to Darwin Core as an event core with an occurrence extension.(https://github.com/BelgianBiodiversityPlatform/data-publication-ITG)
  7. The Darwin Core files are connected to the BBPF IPT and documented with metadata.
  8. The dataset is published and registered with GBIF.

Citations bibliographiques

  1. Deblauwe I, Demeulemeester J, De Witte J, Hendy A, Sohier C, Madder M. (2015) Increased detection of Aedes albopictus in Belgium: no overwintering yet, but an intervention strategy is still lacking. Parasitol Res 114(9): 3469-77. doi: 10.1007/s00436-015-4575-z.
  2. Demeulemeester J, Deblauwe I, De Witte J, Jansen F, Hendy A, Madder M. (2014) First interception of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus in Lucky bamboo shipments in Belgium. J Eur Mosq Control Assoc 32:14–16.

Métadonnées additionnelles

Identifiants alternatifs 403ac8e4-dfaa-4bcd-ab2e-f30f4632b12d