Approaches to passive mosquito surveillance in the EU

H. Kampen*, J.M. Medlock, A.G.C. Vaux, C.J.M. Koenraadt, A.J.H. van Vliet, F. Bartumeus, A. Oltra, C.A. Sousa, S. Chouin, D. Werner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


The recent emergence in Europe of invasive mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease associated with both invasive and native mosquito species has prompted intensified mosquito vector research in most European countries. Central to the efforts are mosquito monitoring and surveillance activities in order to assess the current species occurrence, distribution and, when possible, abundance, in order to permit the early detection of invasive species and the spread of competent vectors. As active mosquito collection, e.g. by trapping adults, dipping preimaginal developmental stages or ovitrapping, is usually cost-, time- and labour-intensive and can cover only small parts of a country, passive data collection approaches are gradually being integrated into monitoring programmes. Thus, scientists in several EU member states have recently initiated programmes for mosquito data collection and analysis that make use of sources other than targeted mosquito collection. While some of them extract mosquito distribution data from zoological databases established in other contexts, community-based approaches built upon the recognition, reporting, collection and submission of mosquito specimens by citizens are becoming more and more popular and increasingly support scientific research. Based on such reports and submissions, new populations, extended or new distribution areas and temporal activity patterns of invasive and native mosquito species were found. In all cases, extensive media work and communication with the participating individuals or groups was fundamental for success. The presented projects demonstrate that passive approaches are powerful tools to survey the mosquito fauna in order to supplement active mosquito surveillance strategies and render them more focused. Their ability to continuously produce biological data permits the early recognition of changes in the mosquito fauna that may have an impact on biting nuisance and the risk of pathogen transmission associated with mosquitoes. International coordination to explore synergies and increase efficiency of passive surveillance programmes across borders needs to be established.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages13
JournalParasites & Vectors
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • japonicus-japonicus theobald
  • stegomyia albopictus skuse
  • aedes-albopictus
  • citizen science
  • invasive mosquitos
  • chikungunya virus
  • 1901 diptera
  • life stages
  • 1st record
  • europe


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