Mosquito monitoring starts in Port of Hamburg

18 August 2023
Institute for Hygiene and Environment attempts to detect exotic mosquitoes early and prevent spread

The Institute for Hygiene and Environment (HU) and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) are monitoring exotic mosquitoes in the Port of Hamburg to prevent them from spreading. Hopes are also high that early-detection can lead to swifter countermeasures. More and more exotic mosquito species are spreading to the north driven by climate change and globalisation. 

Imports and exports potential carriers

The Asian tiger mosquito, for instance, arrived in Germany recently and has taken hold in parts of southern Germany and Berlin. Although it has yet to be sighted in Hamburg, there is a risk of it being introduced through the import and export of goods in the port, HU said. The insects could find their way to Hamburg in old car tyres or plants or aboard freight containers. Mosquito traps will be set up at four strategic points in the port and emptied regularly during the monitoring project, which lasts until October. The species of mosquito will be determined and the insects examined for possible pathogens at BNTIM.

Mosquito monitioring in Hamburg

Only native species of mosquitoes were found in the port in 2012 and 2013. The area under observation was exended  in 2016 and 2018 to the cargo holds of container ships. However, the native genus "Culex" was identified for the most part. Mosquitoes of the exotic genera "Aedes" and "Anopheles" were found only in one ship en route to Hamburg from South America via the west coast of Africa illustrating the risk of potentially introducing exotic mosquito species by shipping.


Sources and further information

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