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Data from: Detection of invasive mosquito vectors using environmental DNA (eDNA) from water samples

Cite this dataset

Schneider, Judith et al. (2017). Data from: Detection of invasive mosquito vectors using environmental DNA (eDNA) from water samples [Dataset]. Dryad.


Repeated introductions and spread of invasive mosquito species (IMS) have been recorded on a large scale these last decades worldwide. In this context, members of the mosquito genus Aedes can present serious risks to public health as they have or may develop vector competence for various viral diseases. While the Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is a well-known vector for e.g. dengue and chikungunya viruses, the Asian bush mosquito (Ae. j. japonicus) and Ae. koreicus have shown vector competence in the field and the laboratory for a number of viruses including dengue, West Nile fever and Japanese encephalitis. Early detection and identification is therefore crucial for successful eradication or control strategies. Traditional specific identification and monitoring of different and/or cryptic life stages of the invasive Aedes species based on morphological grounds may lead to misidentifications, and are problematic when extensive surveillance is needed. In this study, we developed, tested and applied an environmental DNA (eDNA) approach for the detection of three IMS, based on water samples collected in the field in several European countries. We compared real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays specific for these three species and an eDNA metabarcoding approach with traditional sampling, and discussed the advantages and limitations of these methods. Detection probabilities for eDNA-based approaches were in most of the specific comparisons higher than for traditional survey and the results were congruent between both molecular methods, confirming the reliability and efficiency of alternative eDNA-based techniques for the early and unambiguous detection and surveillance of invasive mosquito vectors. The ease of water sampling procedures in the eDNA approach tested here allows the development of large-scale monitoring and surveillance programs of IMS, especially using citizen science projects.

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