Policy Concern Category: Public Health, Invasive species
Approximately 70% of the Culicidae collected in Belgium in the framework of a multi-year monitoring program (see MEMO project for more information) were found to belong to either the species complex Culex pipiens s.l or to Cx. torrentium. These species are hard to distinguish based on morphological characteristics. Additionally, the Culex pipiens s.l complex also includes Cx. quinquefasciatus, which is an important exotic disease vector with high invasiveness potential. Molecular tools including DNA-barcoding and size fragment analyses, however, can be used to distinguish between the species included in this complex, as well as between these and Cx. torrentium. Considering the large number of specimen involved, BopCo, in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Laboratory for Vector-Borne Diseases of the Queen Astrid Military Hospital, will explore the development of real-time PCR probes to distinguish between these species in order to omit the sequencing step and thus save time in the identification process. Additionally this will lower the costs of monitoring activities, and decrease the identification processing time. This is especially interesting in the case of suspected exotics.
BopCo Coordinators: Nathalie Smitz and Sophie Gombeer
Publications & Presentations:
Partners & Collaborators: Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium); Laboratory for Vector-Borne Diseases of the Queen Astrid Military Hospital (Belgium)
Database: not yet published