BopCo will be present at the LifeWatch Biodiversity Day, which will be held 28th October 2021 in Ghent.
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BopCo will be present at the 10th European Mosquito Control Association (EMCA) International Conference, which will be held in Vienna (Austria) from 3rd to the 7th of October 2021.
Between 2017 and 2020, larvae, pupae, and adults of Culiseta longiareolata were found at distinct locations in Belgium and the Netherlands. Collected mosquitoes were morphologically identified and the identification was then validated by BopCo using COI DNA barcoding. These are the first records for this species, which might be a potential vector of bird pathogens (e.g., West Nile virus), in Belgium and the Netherlands.
On March 25 an article entitled “Population genetic structure of the Asian bush mosquito, Aedes japonicus (Diptera, Culicidae), in Belgium suggests multiple introductions” was published by Parasites & Vectors.
In 2018, a Culex larva was collected during routine monitoring activities to intercept exotic Aedes mosquito species in the port of Antwerp (Kallo, Belgium). The larva, collected from a pond in mid-September, was morphologically identified as Culex modestus, and this identification was confirmed using COI barcoding by BopCo. It is the first confirmed record of this West Nile virus bridge vector, Culex modestus, in Belgium. The present study also demonstrates the value of DNA-based identification techniques to validate the presence of potential vector species.
On November 24 an article entitled “The meat of protected African animals is being sold in Belgium” was published on NewScientist. It highlights some results from our bushmeat research. The full article can be found on the NewScientist website and will be part of the printed issue 3310.
Early last week (09/11/2020) it was announced that 2 monkey carcasses and 3 kg of crocodile meat were intercepted at Zaventem during the international customs operation 'Thunder'. Our own article, which appeared online in Biodiversity and Conservation last Wednesday, demonstrates that there is a clandestine market for this type of meat in Brussels. Our results reveal that various mammal species, including CITES-listed species, are being sold as bushmeat at prices at the top of the range of premium livestock and game meat. Apart from it being a major threat to biodiversity in many regions, the trade in bushmeat is also of public health concern since up to 75 % of emerging infectious diseases in humans are of zoonotic origin, including COVID-19.
BopCo has prepared a series of factsheets concerning the applicability of DNA-based methods for the identification of several invasive alien flatworms found in Europe.
The factsheets (one per invasive flatworm species) can be freely consulted and downloaded from the BopCo website, following this link.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, this year's edition of the LifeWatch Users & Stakeholders Meeting will be entirely online!
On day 1 (October 15th) the Belgian LifeWatch partners will bring a series of user stories, while on day 2 (October 16th), specific aspects of the Belgian LifeWatch infrastructure will be demonstrated.
Registration is mandatory.
After registration you will receive a personal Zoom link that will be valid for both days.
The latest Science Connection (no. 63), a magazine published by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO) features an article on our work with regards to the use of DNA barcoding for the identification of invasive alien species (IAS) and protected species sold as bushmeat. The article is available in Dutch and French.