Track: 14 & 24, Vector immunity in changing scenario’s & Modulating mosquito immunity
prof. dr. Eric van Gorp, prof. dr. Frederique Bartumeus
Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS)
Mosquitoes are important vectors for the transmission of viruses that are pathogenic for humans or animals. Aedes albopictus, commonly called the Asian tiger mosquito, is a mosquito that originates to the (sub)tropical areas of Southeast Asia, but it has spread to many countries in the world through international transport and travel. The spread of Aedes albopictus is concerning as it is an important vector for many pathogenic viruses such as yellow fever, dengue, and Chikungunya virus.
Aedes albopictus has been found in the Netherlands, but is not yet an established species here. However, Aedes albopictus is already established in Italy and France and has caused there several outbreaks of autochthonous chikungunya and dengue virus infections in recent years. Seeing the fact that Aedes albopictus is rapidly spreading across Europe it can be expected that this species will also establish itself in the Netherlands in the foreseeable future. This PhD project aims to gain thorough understanding of the vector competence and immune response of Aedes albopictus to arboviruses under different climate conditions. This knowledge could allow us to modulate mosquito immunity which could contribute to reducing the transmission of arboviruses which is crucial to prepare the Netherlands for potential future outbreaks of arboviruses in the Netherlands.
Research questions / objectives
*It is currently unclear whether it is feasible to map out and test both viruses and bacteria from Dutch Aedes We will start with mapping out the virome.