Vector Entomology (Prof. A. Mathis)

Infectious agents transmitted by arthropods (insects, ticks) have gained increasing attention in the last decade, also in Europe. The most spectacular event was the incursion of the African bluetongue virus, which was – unexpectedly - highly efficiently spread by indigenous biting midges. More recently, concerns about the incursion of the West Nile virus into Western Europe, including Switzerland, have arisen as this mosquito-borne virus is spreading in Eastern Europe. Further, several exotic mosquito species that are potential vectors of various disease agents have invaded Europe. Our research unit, which was launched in 2007, focuses on experimental and descriptive research on various aspects of arthropod vectors (bionomics, spatio-temporal distribution, molecular identification by PCR and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, vector capacity, physiology), particularly of indigenous insects such as biting midges, mosquitoes, phlebotome sandflies, Phortica fruit flies but also of the invasive Asian bush mosquito. Our lab acts as the National Centre for Vector Entomology, as appointed by the Swiss Federal Veterinary office (BVET).