Mosquito biodiversity and mosquito-borne viruses in the United Arab Emirates

Jeremy V. Camp*, Noushad Karuvantevida, Houda Chouhna, Ebtesam Safi, Junid N. Shah, Norbert Nowotny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In the last 50 years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced rapid population growth and urbanization. Urbanization is known to influence biodiversity, and there appears to be a link between the emergence of arboviruses and urban growth. Very little is known about the UAE mosquito species richness and dominant vectors. We performed a mosquito survey comparing peri-urban sites in Dubai and Al Ain to a protected, natural site in Fujairah emirate. We measured mosquito biodiversity and species composition, and screened mosquito pools for common arboviruses to measure arbovirus activity in the region. Results: We report ten species of mosquitoes from the UAE, with highest species diversity in the natural site, a protected wadi near the eastern coast. The predominant mosquito was Culex perexiguus, and was associated with peri-urban habitats. The site with lowest mosquito species diversity but relatively high species richness was the peri-urban site of Al Ain Zoo, where we identified Bagaza virus and Barkedji virus, two flaviviruses, in pools of Cx. perexiguus. Conclusions: Decreased mosquito biodiversity was associated with increased levels of urbanization. The predominance of two species at peri-urban sites was related to the availability of their larval habitats. Arboviruses were associated with the presence of a single predominant mosquito species, Cx. perexiguus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2019

Keywords

  • Bagaza virus
  • Barkedji virus
  • Flavivirus
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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