This website is part of the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) network

Aedes albopictus





Current issues:


Invasive species/global dispersion

Aedes albopictus has undergone a dramatic global expansion facilitated by human activities, in particular the movement of used tyres and ‘lucky bamboo’ [1]. Together with passive transit via public and private transport, this has resulted in a widespread global distribution of Ae. albopictus. It is now listed as one of the top 100 invasive species by the Invasive Species Specialist Group [2], and is considered to be the most invasive mosquito species [3].

Ecological plasticity

The success of the invasion of Ae. albopictus is due to a number of factors including: its ecological plasticity, strong competitive aptitude, globalisation, lack of surveillance, and lack of efficient control [1]. Climate change predictions suggest Ae. albopictus will continue to be a successful invasive species that will spread beyond its current geographical boundaries [4,5]. This mosquito is already showing signs of adaptation to colder climates [1] which may result in disease transmission in new areas.

Biting and disease risk

Aedes albopictus feeds on a wide range of hosts. It is also known to be a significant biting nuisance, with the potential to become a serious health threat as a bridge vector of zoonotic pathogens to humans [6]. This mosquito species is a known vector of chikungunya virus, dengue virus and dirofilariasis. A number of other viruses affecting human health have also been isolated from field-collected Ae. albopictus in different countries. Moreover, its recent involvement in the localised transmission of chikungunya virus in Italy [7] and France [8] and dengue virus in France [9] and Croatia [10] highlights the importance of monitoring this invasive species.
Back to Top



Aedes albopictus has been reported in the following areas [1,3,4,6,11-18]:
  • Europe: Albania, Belgium (not established), Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic (not established), France (including Corsica), Germany (not established), Greece, Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands (not established), San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican City.
  • Middle East: Israel, Lebanon, Syria. 
  • Asia & Australasia: Australia, Japan, New Zealand (not established), numerous Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean islands and southern Asia. 
  • North, Central America & Caribbean: Barbados (not established), Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad (not established), USA. 
  • South America: Argentina, Bolivia (not established), Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela. 
  • Africa: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa (not established).

Brief history of spread and European distribution:


Having originated in tropical forests of South-East Asia, Ae. albopictus has spread globally. This geographical spread has mostly occurred during the past three decades [1] via passive transport of cold and drought-resistant eggs in used tyres or lucky bamboo (the latter being the route of importation into the Netherlands and California [19]). Public or private transport from heavily-infested areas has also resulted in the passive transportation of Ae. albopictus into new areas [19], and this is believed to be the route for its introduction into southern France, Germany, the Balkans, the Czech Republic, Spain and Switzerland [11,17,18,20].

Timeline of initial movements

Aedes albopictus was first reported in Europe in 1979 in Albania [21]. In 1985 it was reported in Texas, USA and has since spread northward and eastward, having now been reported in over 25 US states [22]. This expansion was facilitated by the movement of used tyres along the interstate highways [13]. In Latin America it was first reported in Brazil in 1986 and later in Mexico in 1988 [20]. Reports of importation were recorded in La Reunion and New Zealand in 1994, in Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama in 1995, in Columbia in 1997, and in Argentina in 1998 [13].

Initial importation and spread in Europe

The first record of importation to Europe was in Albania in 1979 and although Ae. albopictus became established in the country, there were no reports in any other European country until 1990, when it was found in Italy. Since its importation into Italy through Genoa [17], Ae. albopictus has now become established in most areas of the country <600m above sea level and is abundant in many urban areas [4]. During the first 10 years of colonisation in the country, Ae. albopictus spread throughout 22 provinces, mainly in the north east of the country [23]. Italy is now the most heavily-infested country in Europe, with the highest incidence in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions, large parts of Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna and coastal areas of central Italy [4]. The mosquito was then reported in France in 1999 and Belgium in 2000. These initial importations were subsequently eradicated or died out, but spread has occurred to a number of countries in Europe since 2000, including southern France.
Having become established in Albania, Italy and on the Cote d’Azur in France, Ae. albopictus is also known to be spreading in Greece, Spain and the Balkan countries [17]. Aedes albopictus has also been reported in Ticino in Switzerland since 2003, suggesting sporadic introductions from Italy [24]. In 2004, it was reported near Barcelona in Spain, with some spread along the Mediterranean coast [20]. Furthermore, it has been repeatedly found in the Netherlands (2005, 2006 and 2007) at the premises of companies importing bamboo [19,25] and more recently in Malta [14]. The Dutch populations, imported with lucky bamboo, have not established outside greenhouses, suggesting that they are tropical strains. The mosquito has also been trapped on a number of occasions in southern Germany, but has not established [11,26,27].

Possible future expansion 

The ability for imported populations to establish is currently dependent on the origin of the mosquito and its strain and it is not always clear whether introductions into Europe will result in established populations. In this context, it is suggested that Portugal, the eastern Adriatic Coast, eastern Turkey and the Caspian Sea coast of Russia are the most likely places for Ae. albopictus to establish itself in Europe [6]. Risk mapping projections suggest that further expansion of this species will occur in the Mediterranean basin towards the east and the west, as well as in the coastal areas of Greece, Turkey and the Balkan countries [4]. Incorporation of climate change projections suggests that over time most of Europe will become more suitable for Ae. albopictus establishment [28,29]. It is predicted that future climate trends will increase the risk of establishment in northern Europe, due to wetter and warmer conditions, and slightly decrease the risk across southern Europe because of hotter and drier summers [28]. Land use changes, particularly urbanisation, may continue to increase the competitive advantage of Ae. albopictus over resident mosquitoes through its exploitation of artificial container habitats; further aiding establishment in new areas [30]. Winter temperatures and mean annual temperatures appear to be the most significant limiting factors of Ae. albopictus expansion in Europe [31].
Back to Top



  • Species name/classification: Aedes albopictus (Skuse)
  • Common name: Asian tiger mosquito, Forest day mosquito
  • Synonyms and other name in use: Stegomyia albopicta [32]


Morphological characters and similar species: 

Aedes albopictus adults are relatively small and show a black and white pattern due to the presence of white/silver scale patches against a black background on the legs and other parts of the body. Some indigenous mosquitoes also show such contrasts (more brownish and yellowish) but these are less obvious. Aedes albopictus can, however, be confused with other invasive (Ae. aegypti, Ae. japonicus) or indigenous species (Ae. cretinus, restricted to Greece and Turkey), and the diagnostic character is the presence of a median silver-scale line against a black background on the scutum (dorsal part of the thorax).

Life history (including details of overwintering stage):


Diapausing tendencies

Tropical and subtropical populations are active throughout the year with no overwintering [14]. Temperate populations are affected by seasonal temperature and photoperiodicity and, in response to these factors, can overwinter by producing eggs that undergo a winter diapause [22]. Egg production occurs during late summer/early autumn when daylight hours are decreasing. Eggs laid during this time enter facultative diapause and hatching suppression occurs which is usually sufficient to outlast winter [22]. The species’ ability to induce photoperiodic egg diapause allows it to overwinter in temperate regions, which assists its establishment in more northern latitudes in Asia, North America and Europe. Diapausing eggs of European Ae. albopictus have been shown to be able to survive a cold spell of -10oC, whereas eggs of tropical Ae. albopictus could only survive -2oC. In addition, the hatching success and cold tolerance of European Ae. albopictus eggs were increased in diapausing eggs when compared to non-diapausing eggs [33]. Aedes albopictus populations in Italy are showing signs of cold-acclimation as adults and are thus remaining active throughout winter [34]. Some populations in North America are likely to be exposed to mean temperatures of -5˚C and will overwinter if females have deposited eggs in containers that are not exposed to these temperatures for prolonged periods ‒ e.g. artificial containers in peridomestic areas [30].

General life history

In temperate strains, the drought-resistant eggs are laid singly, above the water line. Larval development takes three to eight weeks, and adults can survive over three weeks [14]. Adult females have been reported to overwinter in Rome [14].

Seasonal abundance:

Seasonal abundance is dependent on temperature and the availability of food and water in a particular geographical area. Higher temperatures speed up larval development, increasing the number of adult populations, the autumnal development of immatures and consequently the rates of egg overwintering [22]. A study in northern Italy showed an increased abundance of adult females during the period May-September, peaking in late July [35]. In Greece, Ae. albopictus is continuously active for over eight months of the year with the greatest abundance during summer and autumn, peaking in October. Oviposition takes place from mid-April to December, with the numbers of eggs highest from mid-July to the end of the autumn, and significantly increased during mild and rainy weather [36].

Voltinism (generations per season):

Multivoltine, 5-17 generations per year [14].

Host preferences (e.g. birds, mammals, humans):

Aedes albopictus is an opportunistic feeder [37]. Blood hosts include humans, domestic and wild animals, reptiles, birds and amphibians [13]. Laboratory studies and blood meal analysis have shown a preference for human blood meals [1]. A recent study in Italy found a preference for mammals as opposed to birds and found human blood meals were more frequent in urban areas than rural sites, suggesting that host availability and abundance has a direct impact on the feeding activities of Ae. albopictus [38].

Aquatic/terrestrial habitats:

Aedes albopictus has the ability to breed in natural and artificial habitats, some of which include tyres, barrels, rainwater gulley catch basins and drinking troughs [14]. They are not known to breed in brackish or salt water [3]. In general, albeit in Europe, they have a preference for urban and suburban habitats [39]. Aedes albopictus is said to be superior in competing for food resources with Ae. triseriatus and Ae. japonicus [30].

Biting/resting habits (endo/exophily, endo/exophagy, biting periodicity):

Aedes albopictus is currently considered a serious biting nuisance for humans in Italy [25, 40], southern France [41] and Spain where it is significantly reducing the quality of life in infested areas [20]. Adult females bite aggressively, usually during the day and preferably outdoors. However, there are reports that Ae. albopictus is becoming partially endophilic [40], and is found to be biting indoors [42]. During a recent study in Rome, blood-fed females were mainly found indoors, indicating that local populations could spend time resting indoors after a blood meal [38]. Another recent study on Penang Island in Malaysia reported observations of Ae. albopictus females developing indoors within containers. Such containers included flower vases, empty paint cans and sinks. Most stages of larval populations were present over a five-month period, suggesting that this species may have adapted to indoor environments [43]. A laboratory found that Ae. albopictus could survive for long periods indoors by obtaining sugars from lucky bamboo and other ornamental plants [44]. The mosquitoes’ survival time was long enough to complete a gonotrophic cycle, and to allow development of transmissible arboviruses within the vector [44].

Environmental thresholds/constraints/development criteria:


Establishment thresholds

The extent to which Ae. albopictus has established itself in new geographic locations is thought to correspond to various climatic thresholds: a mean winter temperature of >0oC to permit egg overwintering, a mean annual temperature of >11oC required for adult survival and activity, and at least 500mm of annual rainfall; a pre-requisite for the maintenance of aquatic habitats. However, rainfall needs to be sufficient during summer months to maintain such sites [22,45]. Conversely, periods of high precipitation reduce short-term abundance of host-seeking females [35]. A summer temperature of 25‒30oC is required for optimum development [46]. However, there are reports of populations establishing in areas with lower mean temperatures (5‒28.5°C) and lower rainfall (29cm annually) than previously suspected [6,47].

Diapausing cues

The length of the reproductive season is regulated by the increasing temperatures in spring and the onset of egg diapause in autumn. The critical photoperiodic threshold varies between geographical locations. In general, the production of diapausing eggs occurs below 13‒14 hours of daylight, however in some locations this threshold occurs at 11‒12 hours [22].
Re-activation cues: Hatching of diapausing eggs in spring is related to changes in photoperiod (i.e. length of day), food availability, temperature, and water availability. Furthermore, this mosquito may not survive through winter if environmental temperatures and humidity are not maintained above set thresholds, or if the diapause period exceeds six months [22].
Cessation of adult activity: There is generally little adult activity below 9oC, but adults do seek warmer microclimates indoors [35]. In parts of Italy, adult activity continues throughout winter [34].

Dispersal range

Flight range (and hence dispersal on the wing) is limited to ~200m [37]. The main dispersal route for this mosquito is via transport and movement of container habitat goods.
Back to Top




Known vector status (in field, experimental transmission):

During 2006‒2007, the vector status of Ae. albopictus changed when chikungunya virus was reported in Italy and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes were responsible for its transmission [1]. This mosquito is also known to transmit dengue virus [48,49] and Dirofilaria [20,50]). All four dengue virus serotypes have been isolated from Ae. albopictus [51].
Aedes albopictus is considered to be a competent vector experimentally of at least 22 other arboviruses including yellow fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus and Sindbis virus, all of which are relevant to Europe. Zika virus, Potosi virus, Cache Valley virus, La Crosse virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Mayaro virus, Ross River virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Oropouche virus, Jamestown Canyon virus, San Angelo virus and Trivittatus virus are other arboviruses that Ae. albopictus can transmit experimentally [3,14, 52].
A number of these viruses have also been isolated from field-collected Ae. albopictus in different countries and laboratory transmission of such viruses by Ae. albopictus has been demonstrated [1]. These include Eastern equine encephalitis virus[53,54], La Crosse virus [55,56], Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus [57,58], West Nile virus [35,59, 60]and Japanese encephalitis virus [1]. Usutu virus has been isolated from Ae. albopictus in Italy, but it is unknown whether the mosquito can transmit this pathogen [61]. Field isolation and experimental infection studies alone do not prove that this a mosquito species is involved in the transmission of such viruses, but the mosquito’s biting habits, increasing global distribution and recent involvement in a chikungunya virus outbreak highlight the significance of Ae. albopictus to public health.

A high prevalence of the insect-infective Aedes flavivirus has been detected in Ae. albopictus in Italy and it has been suggested that its presence in these mosquitoes could influence the transmission dynamics of other human-pathogenic flaviviruses, such as West Nile virus and Usutu virus [62].
Not only does Ae. albopictus represent a disease risk but it can also cause a considerable amount of nuisance biting in areas where it is well-established, reducing the quality of life of individuals affected [63]. Prevalence of Ae. albopictus has also been linked to a reduction in children’s outdoor physical activity time, a factor contributing to childhood obesity [64].


Role as enzootic or bridge vector

Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are able to transmit chikungunya virus within two days of ingesting a viraemic blood meal [65]. Some experts suggest that transovarial transmission is enough to maintain viral cycles but others disagree [25]. No evidence of transovarial transmission was found during an entomological investigation into the 2007 chikungunya outbreak in Italy [7] but the virus was detected in field-caught male Ae. albopictus following an outbreak in Thailand [66].

Clinical features

Chikungunya infection can cause fever, myalgia, rash and arthralgia which can often last for months in up to 65% of patients [67]. Clinical manifestations observed during an epidemic on Reunion Island included severe hepatitis, severe maternal and foetal disease and meningeoencephalitis [68]. There is currently no licensed vaccine against chikungunya [65] but a recent study had success using virus-like particles to protect monkeys from high doses of chikungunya virus, the antibodies of which then protected immunodeficient mice against lethal doses of the virus [69].

Potential/Confirmed disease risk

Chikungunya was first reported in Europe in 2007 following epidemics in the Indian Ocean (2005‒2007), which caused millions of cases and significant morbidity and burden on health resources. This was the first known local transmission of chikungunya in Europe and occurred in Emilia-Romagna province in Italy. An infected traveller returned home from India, spreading the disease to localised populations of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. This resulted in at least 205 cases (one fatal) during the period 4 July–27 September 2007, identified using PCR [70]. A further 129 suspected cases were reported, but the true extent of this outbreak is said to have been underestimated due to lack of availability of blood/serum samples from all cases involved [71]. Following entomological investigations during the outbreak females of Ae. albopictus were found to be PCR positive and the virus was successfully isolated [7]. The adaptation of the virus to this new vector host (in addition to its principle host Ae. aegypti) has resulted in improved virus replication and transmission efficiency of the virus by Ae. albopictus [5, 65, 72]. Autochthonous chikungunya fever cases occurred in south eastern France in 2010 [8]. Tilston et al [83] considers that, based on temperature, the southern European countries are most at risk of chikungunya virus transmission.



Role as enzootic or bridge vector

Although generally considered a secondary vector of dengue to Ae. aegypti, Ae. albopictus has been associated with dengue virus transmission and this has been acknowledged since the mid-nineteenth century [55]. It was implicated as the vector responsible for outbreaks in Reunion Island, Hawaii [48] and Mauritius [49]. It has also been associated with dengue virus transmission in China, Japan and Seychelles [51]. Dengue virus is transmitted transovarially so emergence of adults from imported infected eggs could lead to further spread of the disease [3]. Dengue virus can also be transmitted venereally in mosquitoes [51].

Clinical features

Dengue is prevalent in over 120 countries and is the second most common mosquito-borne disease affecting humans after malaria [73]. It is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by four serotypes with symptoms such as fever, intense headache, muscular and joint pain, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, rashes and sometimes severe disease with haemorrhages and shock syndrome. Outbreaks involving Ae. albopictus have mainly involved classic cases and not severe (haemorrhagic) cases [74]. There is currently no vaccine available against dengue but some promising trials were started during 2009 [73].

Potential/confirmed disease risk

Aedes albopictus has been associated with dengue virus and has been implicated as the vector involved in the 1977‒78 Reunion Island epidemic, an outbreak in Hawaii in 2001‒2002 [48] and more recently in a further outbreak in Reunion Island in 2004. In June 2009 another outbreak in Mauritius caused at least 220 cases [49, 75]. An estimated 50‒100 million dengue cases occur annually worldwide [1]. According to TropNetEurope three imported case fatalities have been reported since 1997 and around 100‒170 cases are reported each year [73]. Dengue was made notifiable in France in 2006 and data from INVS in France suggests that this number is higher as 420 imported cases were reported in 2007 alone [76]. The first autochthonous cases of dengue were reported in France during September 2010 [9] followed by others in Croatia at around the same time [10]. In late 2012, a dengue outbreak occurred on Madeira, associated with Ae. aegypti [77]. Although modelling predicts that most of Europe is currently unsuitable for dengue transmission, areas combining high human population density with suitable day- and night-time land surface temperatures are still at greater risk [78]. However, competent mosquito vectors must be present for transmission to occur. Climatically, areas predicted to be at risk from dengue include northern Italy, parts of Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, and west of the Alps in France [78]. The risk of transmission to humans is considered to be higher where there is a presence of Ae. aegypti than in areas with Ae. albopictus. This point is exemplified by the outbreak of dengue on Madeira associated with Ae. aegypti.



Role as enzootic or bridge vector

Aedes albopictus has a role in the transmission of Dirofilaria in Asia, North America and Europe [1]. Dirofilaria (filarial nematodes D. immitis and D. repens) is a parasite transmitted primarily between dogs (or other canids which act as reservoir hosts) and mosquitoes, but which can also affect humans. Recent evidence has shown transmission of the parasite by Italian Ae. albopictus populations [79-81], coupled with an increase in prevalence of human dirofilariasis in Italy [50].

Clinical features

In most human infections, larvae are destroyed by the immune system but in some cases, adults can develop, resulting in pulmonary or subcutaneous infections. Pulmonary infections can remain asymptomatic in up to 50% of cases or result in chest pain, coughing and hemoptysis [82].

Potential/confirmed disease risk

Human infections are increasing in Europe and although it is unusual for the parasite to develop into the adult stage in humans, at least three cases of microfilaraemic zoonotic infections have been reported in Europe [40].

Factors driving/impacting on transmission cycles:

A growth in dengue cases worldwide, increasing global travel and established populations of Ae. albopictus may have been the cause of the dengue outbreak in Mauritius in June 2009 [49]. The movement of viraemic hosts can result in outbreaks of chikungunya virus in non-endemic areas. It is estimated that 22.5 million travellers come to Europe each year and 185 000 of these could be viraemic [83]. The detection of Ae. albopictus around hospitals in south-east France suggests that suspected or confirmed dengue and chikungunya cases should be isolated so as not to become a source of further infections. Control measures to reduce vector numbers should also be implemented in these areas [84]. Climate change could increase the distribution of Ae. albopictus beyond its current boundaries which could enhance the transmission potential of chikungunya virus and dengue virus in temperate regions [5,40,85]. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes tend to feed on multiple hosts which also increases the risk of zoonotic disease transmission [1]. The return of viraemic travellers from disease-epidemic areas to temperate regions has resulted in (and will potentially continue to result in) local mosquito populations sustaining disease transmission [46]. Therefore, the presence of Ae. albopictus in Europe and the increasing number of overseas travellers may increase the risk of dengue and chikungunya outbreaks in Europe [86].
Back to Top




  • Over the past five years, 12 countries in Europe have set up surveillance for Ae. albopictus and other exotic mosquito species [4]. This number has increased to at least 14 following the rapid spread of Ae. albopictus in Italy.
  • The Spanish arbovirus and arthropod surveillance network (EVITAR) has developed a monitoring system [13].
  • he Public Health Department of Emilia-Romagna province in Italy set up a large-scale monitoring network in 2008 in order to assess Ae. albopictus population density [87]. This low-cost system provides continuous data which is used to predict and prepare for outbreaks of arboviral disease, as well as to identify other invasive mosquitoes.
  • The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands commissioned targeted surveillance coordinated by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment to establish the geographical distribution of Ae. albopictus. The aim of the surveillance was to determine whether the species could survive and establish itself in the Netherlands and to assess any evidence of dengue virus presence in the mosquito or the public [17].
  • An oviposition surveillance network was established in Greece in 2009 to monitor a 25km2 area around Athens [36].
  • A surveillance network launched in Germany in 2011 focuses on hotspots that may act as entry sites for invasive vectors ‒ i.e. international airports, train stations, harbours, and service stations and reloading sites on motorways connecting Germany to other countries [11].
  • Since 1998 a tyre trade surveillance programme has been being conducted in France, focusing on centres importing used tyres from the US, Japan and Italy [88].
  • Surveillance focusing on used tyre depots started in Sardinia in 1993 [89].
  • Surveillance set up by the City Council of Rome and coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanita was launched in Rome in 1998 [47].
  • Port surveillance for mosquitoes was started in the UK in 2009 [90] and surveillance of companies importing used tyres began in 2010.
  • ECDC has been funding a European-wide vector surveillance programme for invasive mosquitoes (VBORNET) since 2009.

Appropriate sampling strategy (aquatic larval sampling, adult traps):

Sampling strategies include oviposition traps, carbon dioxide baited counterflow traps, CDC traps and larval surveying [46]. BG traps with BG lure (mimics human odours) were used in Trento, Italy to collect adult Ae. albopictus [35].

Species specific control methods (e.g. insecticide, public health education etc):


Source reduction

Control of Ae. albopictus is based on the reduction of larval development sites. This proved to be very effective in Cuba in the1980s after nationwide vector management resulted in the reduction of annual cases of dengue virus from 13 000 to less than 50 per 100 000 [1].


Mosquito fogging and larviciding (insecticides targeting the mosquito larvae) were techniques used during an outbreak of dengue in Mauritius in June 2009 [49]. In 2006, use of insecticides in greenhouses that had been recently colonised by Ae. albopictus in the Netherlands may have contributed to the decline in numbers caught the following year [19]. Permethrin, Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis ser. H14 and diflubenzuron (an insect growth regulator) were used to treat stagnant water after the detection of Ae. albopictus in Switzerland in 2003 [24]. Although resistance to insecticides is not currently a problem, it has been detected in a population in Thailand [91] and more recently in populations in La Reunion [92] and Malaysia [93, 94]. In Pakistan, field-collected Ae. albopictus displayed moderate-high resistance to many agricultural insecticides, including pyrethroids [95]. Insecticide resistance is more likely to develop in areas where mosquito populations coincide with agrochemical use, so such places should be closely monitored. The potential for cross resistance between pyrethroids and organophosphates is a threat for future control [95].

Control of this species in newly-established areas has been difficult (e.g. USA, France and Italy) [1]. Although prevention of invasion was achieved after its first introduction into France in 1999, subsequent introductions (most likely by vehicles from Italy) have resulted in Ae. albopictus becoming a pest problem in southern France and Corsica. A study in Catalonia, Spain demonstrated the use of multiple intervention strategies (source reduction, larvicide and adulticide treatments and the cleaning of uncontrolled landfills) as successful in curbing an established population of Ae. albopictus (produced a marked reduction in egg numbers). The authors concluded that citizen cooperation was an essential component for successfully implementing these interventions [63].

Control methods widely used in Europe’s endemic areas, such as Italy, have included reducing human-vector contact and distributing public health material. The use of irradiated or genetically modified mosquitoes may also be used in the future to complement conventional methods but this is still under development.
Back to Top


Although it is not clear how significant Ae. albopictus will be in disease transmission across Europe, the ability of Ae. albopictus to adapt to new environments, its predicted spread and establishment in Europe and its confirmed involvement in disease transmission cycles makes the surveillance and control of this species hugely important.
Back to Top




1. Paupy C, Delatte H, Bagny L, Corbel V, Fontenille D. Aedes albopictus, an arbovirus vector: from the darkness to the light. Microbes Infect. 2009 Dec;11(14-15):1177-85.
2. ISSG. Global Invasive Species Database – Aedes albopictus Accessed 26/08/2010 2009. Available from:
3. Buhagiar JA. A second record of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Malta. European Mosquito Bulletin. 2009;27:65-7.
4. ECDC. Development of Aedes albopictus risk maps. Stockholm: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2009.
5. Gould EA, Higgs S. Impact of climate change and other factors on emerging arbovirus diseases. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Feb;103(2):109-21.
6. Benedict MQ, Levine RS, Hawley WA, Lounibos LP. Spread of the tiger: global risk of invasion by the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2007 Spring;7(1):76-85.
7. Bonilauri P, Bellini R, Calzolari M, Angelini R, Venturi L, Fallacara F, et al. Chikungunya virus in Aedes albopictus, Italy. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 May;14(5):852-4.
8. Gould EA, Gallian P, De Lamballerie X, Charrel RN. First cases of autochthonous dengue fever and chikungunya fever in France: from bad dream to reality! Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Dec;16(12):1702-4.
9. La Ruche G, Souares Y, Armengaud A, Peloux-Petiot F, Delaunay P, Despres P, et al. First two autochthonous dengue virus infections in metropolitan France, September 2010. Eurosurveillance. 2010 Sep 30;15(39):19676.
10. Gjenero-Margan I, Aleraj B, Krajcar D, Lesnikar V, Klobucar A, Pem-Novosel I, et al. Autochthonous dengue fever in Croatia, August-September 2010. Eurosurveillance. 2011;16(9).
11. Becker N, Geier M, Balczun C, Bradersen U, Huber K, Kiel E, et al. Repeated introduction of Aedes albopictus into Germany, July to October 2012. Parasitol Res. 2013 Apr;112(4):1787-90.
12. Bonizzoni M, Gasperi G, Chen X, James AA. The invasive mosquito species Aedes albopictus: current knowledge and future perspectives. Trends Parasitol. 2013 Sep;29(9):460-8.
13. Eritja R, Escosa R, Lucientes J, Marques E, Roiz D, Ruiz S. Worldwide invasion of vector mosquitoes: present European distribution and challenges in Spain. Biological Invasions 2005;7(1).
14. Gatt P, Deeming JC, Schaffner F. First records of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) in Malta. European Mosquito Bulletin 2009;27 56-64.
15. Oter K, Gunay F, Tuzer E, Linton YM, Bellini R, Alten B. First record of Stegomyia albopicta in Turkey determined by active ovitrap surveillance and DNA barcoding. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2013 Oct;13(10):753-61.
16. Schaffner F, Karch S. [First report of Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1984) in metropolitan France]. C R Acad Sci III. 2000 Apr;323(4):373-5.
17. Scholte EJ, Schaffner F. Waiting for the tiger: establishment and spread of the Aedes albopictus mosquito in Europe. In: Takken W, Knols BGJ, editors. Emerging pests and vector-borne diseases in Europe. 1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2007. p. 241-60.
18. Sebesta O, Rudolf I, Betasova L, Pesko J, Hubalek Z. An invasive mosquito species Aedes albopictus found in the Czech Republic, 2012. Eurosurveillance. 2012;17(43):20301.
19. Scholte EJ, Dijkstra E, Blok H, De Vries A, Takken W, Hofhuis A, et al. Accidental importation of the mosquito Aedes albopictus into the Netherlands: a survey of mosquito distribution and the presence of dengue virus. Med Vet Entomol. 2008 Dec;22(4):352-8.
20. Aranda C, Eritja R, Roiz D. First record and establishment of the mosquito Aedes albopictus in Spain. Med Vet Entomol. 2006 Mar;20(1):150-2.
21. Adhami J, Reiter P. Introduction and establishment of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus skuse (Diptera: Culicidae) in Albania. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1998 Sep;14(3):340-3.
22. Medlock JM, Avenell D, Barrass I, Leach S. Analysis of the potential for survival and seasonal activity of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in the United Kingdom. J Vector Ecol. 2006 Dec;31(2):292-304.
23. Romi R, Di Luca M, Majori G. Current status of Aedes albopictus and Aedes atropalpus in Italy. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1999 Sep;15(3):425-7.
24. Wymann MN, Flacio E, Radczuweit S, Patocchi N, Luthy P. Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) - a threat for Switzerland? Eurosurveillance. 2008 Mar 6;13(10):8058.
25. Scholte EJ, Dijkstra E, Ruijs H, Jacobs F, Takken W, Hofhuis A, et al. The asian tiger mosquito in the Netherlands: should we worry? Proceedings of the Section Experimental and Applied Entomology – Netherlands Entomological Society 2007;18 131-6.
26. Kampen H, Kronefeld M, Zielke D, Werner D. Further specimens of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera, Culicidae) trapped in southwest Germany. Parasitol Res. 2013 Feb;112(2):905-7.
27. Werner D, Kronefeld M, Schaffner F, Kampen H. Two invasive mosquito species, Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus japonicus, trapped in south-west Germany, July to August 2011. Eurosurveillance. 2012;17(4):20067.
28. Caminade C, Medlock JM, Ducheyne E, McIntyre KM, Leach S, Baylis M, et al. Suitability of European climate for the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus: recent trends and future scenarios. J R Soc Interface. 2012 Oct 7;9(75):2708-17.
29. ECDC. Communicable disease threat report: week 2, 6–12 January 2013. Stockholm: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 2013.
30. Leisnham PT, Juliano SA. Impacts of climate, land use, and biological invasion on the ecology of immature Aedes mosquitoes: implications for La Crosse emergence. EcoHealth. 2012 Jun;9(2):217-28.
31. Roiz D, Neteler M, Castellani C, Arnoldi D, Rizzoli A. Climatic factors driving invasion of the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) into new areas of Trentino, northern Italy. PloS one. 2011;6(4):e14800.
32. Reinert JF, Harbach RE, Kitching IJ. Phylogeny and classification of Aedini (Diptera : Culicidae), based on morphological characters of all life stages. Zool J Linn Soc-Lond. 2004 Nov;142(3):289-368.
33. Thomas SM, Obermayr U, Fischer D, Kreyling J, Beierkuhnlein C. Low-temperature threshold for egg survival of a post-diapause and non-diapause European aedine strain, Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasit Vectors. 2012;5:100.
34. Romi R, Severini F, Toma L. Cold acclimation and overwintering of female Aedes albopictus in Roma. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2006 Mar;22(1):149-51.
35. Roiz D, Rosa R, Arnoldi D, Rizzoli A. Effects of temperature and rainfall on the activity and dynamics of host-seeking Aedes albopictus females in northern Italy. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2010 Oct;10(8):811-6.
36. Giatropoulos A, Emmanouel N, Koliopoulos G, Michaelakis A. A study on distribution and seasonal abundance of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) population in Athens, Greece. J Med Entomol. 2012 Mar;49(2):262-9.
37. Turell MJ, Dohm DJ, Sardelis MR, Oguinn ML, Andreadis TG, Blow JA. An update on the potential of north American mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) to transmit West Nile Virus. J Med Entomol. 2005 Jan;42(1):57-62.
38. Valerio L, Marini F, Bongiorno G, Facchinelli L, Pombi M, Caputo B, et al. Host-feeding patterns of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in urban and rural contexts within Rome province, Italy. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2010 Apr;10(3):291-4.
39. Juliano SA, Lounibos LP. Ecology of invasive mosquitoes: effects on resident species and on human health. Ecol Lett. 2005 May;8(5):558-74.
40. Genchi C, Rinaldi L, Mortarino M, Genchi M, Cringoli G. Climate and Dirofilaria infection in Europe. Vet Parasitol. 2009 Aug 26;163(4):286-92.
41. Vazeille M, Jeannin C, Martin E, Schaffner F, Failloux AB. Chikungunya: a risk for Mediterranean countries? Acta Trop. 2008 Feb;105(2):200-2.
42. Drago A, editor Education, information and public awareness in vector control. 14th European Conference of the Society of Vector Ecology; 2003 September 3-6, 2003, ; Bellinzona, Switzerland.
43. Dieng H, Saifur RG, Hassan AA, Salmah MR, Boots M, Satho T, et al. Indoor-breeding of Aedes albopictus in northern peninsular Malaysia and its potential epidemiological implications. PloS one. 2010;5(7):e11790.
44. Qualls WA, Xue RD, Beier JC, Muller GC. Survivorship of adult Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) feeding on indoor ornamental plants with no inflorescence. Parasitol Res. 2013 Jun;112(6):2313-8.
45. Mitchell CJ. Geographic Spread of Aedes albopictus and Potential for Involvement in Arbovirus Cycles in the Mediterranean Basin. J Vector Ecol. 1995 Jun;20(1):44-58.
46. Straetemans M, Europe Ecgov-rrfcvti. Vector-related risk mapping of the introduction and establishment of Aedes albopictus in Europe. Eurosurveillance. 2008 Feb 14;13(7):8040.
47. Severini F, Di Luca M, Toma L, Romi R. Aedes albopictus in Rome: results and perspectives after 10 years of monitoring. Parassitologia. 2008 Jun;50(1-2):121-3.
48. Effler PV, Pang L, Kitsutani P, Vorndam V, Nakata M, Ayers T, et al. Dengue fever, Hawaii, 2001-2002. Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 May;11(5):742-9.
49. Ramchurn SK, Moheeput K, Goorah SS. An analysis of a short-lived outbreak of dengue fever in Mauritius. Eurosurveillance. 2009;14(34):19314.
50. Pampiglione S, Rivasi F, Angeli G, Boldorini R, Incensati RM, Pastormerlo M, et al. Dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria repens in Italy, an emergent zoonosis: report of 60 new cases. Histopathology. 2001 Apr;38(4):344-54.
51. Gratz NG. Critical review of the vector status of Aedes albopictus. Med Vet Entomol. 2004 Sep;18(3):215-27.
52. Wong PS, Li MZ, Chong CS, Ng LC, Tan CH. Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse): a potential vector of Zika virus in Singapore. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7(8):e2348.
53. Mitchell CJ, Niebylski ML, Smith GC, Karabatsos N, Martin D, Mutebi JP, et al. Isolation of eastern equine encephalitis virus from Aedes albopictus in Florida. Science. 1992 Jul 24;257(5069):526-7.
54. Turell MJ, Beaman JR, Neely GW. Experimental transmission of eastern equine encephalitis virus by strains of Aedes albopictus and A. taeniorhynchus (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol. 1994 Mar;31(2):287-90.
55. Gerhardt RR, Gottfried KL, Apperson CS, Davis BS, Erwin PC, Smith AB, et al. First isolation of La Crosse virus from naturally infected Aedes albopictus. Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Sep-Oct;7(5):807-11.
56. Grimstad PR, Kobayashi JF, Zhang MB, Craig GB, Jr. Recently introduced Aedes albopictus in the United States: potential vector of La Crosse virus (Bunyaviridae: California serogroup). J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1989 Sep;5(3):422-7.
57. Beaman JR, Turell MJ. Transmission of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis virus by strains of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) collected in North and South America. J Med Entomol. 1991 Jan;28(1):161-4.
58. Turell MJ, Beaman JR. Experimental transmission of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis virus by a strain of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) from New Orleans, Louisiana. J Med Entomol. 1992 Sep;29(5):802-5.
59. Holick J, Kyle A, Ferraro W, Delaney RR, Iwaseczko M. Discovery of Aedes albopictus infected with west nile virus in southeastern Pennsylvania. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2002 Jun;18(2):131.
60. Sardelis MR, Turell MJ, O'Guinn ML, Andre RG, Roberts DR. Vector competence of three North American strains of Aedes albopictus for West Nile virus. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2002 Dec;18(4):284-9.
61. Calzolari M, Bonilauri P, Bellini R, Albieri A, Defilippo F, Maioli G, et al. Evidence of simultaneous circulation of West Nile and Usutu viruses in mosquitoes sampled in Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) in 2009. PloS one. 2010;5(12):e14324.
62. Roiz D, Vazquez A, Rosso F, Arnoldi D, Girardi M, Cuevas L, et al. Detection of a new insect flavivirus and isolation of Aedes flavivirus in Northern Italy. Parasit Vectors. 2012;5:223.
63. Abramides GC, Roiz D, Guitart R, Quintana S, Guerrero I, Gimenez N. Effectiveness of a multiple intervention strategy for the control of the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) in Spain. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2011 May;105(5):281-8.
64. Worobey J, Fonseca DM, Espinosa C, Healy S, Gaugler R. Child outdoor physical activity is reduced by prevalence of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2013 Mar;29(1):78-80.
65. Moutailler S, Barre H, Vazeille M, Failloux AB. Recently introduced Aedes albopictus in Corsica is competent to Chikungunya virus and in a lesser extent to dengue virus. Trop Med Int Health. 2009 Sep;14(9):1105-9.
66. Thavara U, Tawatsin A, Pengsakul T, Bhakdeenuan P, Chanama S, Anantapreecha S, et al. Outbreak of Chikungunya Fever in Thailand and Virus Detection in Field Population of Vector Mosquitoes, Aedes Aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae). Se Asian J Trop Med. 2009 Sep;40(5):951-62.
67. Sambri V, Cavrini F, Rossini G, Pierro A, Landini MP. The 2007 epidemic outbreak of Chikungunya virus infection in the Romagna region of Italy: a new perspective for the possible diffusion of tropical diseases in temperate areas? New Microbiol. 2008 Jul;31(3):303-4.
68. Soumahoro MK, Fontenille D, Turbelin C, Pelat C, Boyd A, Flahault A, et al. Imported chikungunya virus infection. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Jan;16(1):162-3.
69. Akahata W, Yang ZY, Andersen H, Sun S, Holdaway HA, Kong WP, et al. A virus-like particle vaccine for epidemic Chikungunya virus protects nonhuman primates against infection. Nat Med. 2010 Mar;16(3):334-8.
70. Rezza G, Nicoletti L, Angelini R, Romi R, Finarelli AC, Panning M, et al. Infection with chikungunya virus in Italy: an outbreak in a temperate region. Lancet. 2007 Dec 1;370(9602):1840-6.
71. Angelini R, Finarelli AC, Angelini P, Po C, Petropulacos K, Silvi G, et al. Chikungunya in north-eastern Italy: a summing up of the outbreak. Eurosurveillance. 2007 Nov;12(11):3313.
72. de Lamballerie X, Leroy E, Charrel RN, Ttsetsarkin K, Higgs S, Gould EA. Chikungunya virus adapts to tiger mosquito via evolutionary convergence: a sign of things to come? Virol J. 2008;5:33.
73. Jelinek T. Trends in the epidemiology of dengue fever and their relevance for importation to Europe. Eurosurveillance. 2009 Jun 25;14(25):19250.
74. Lambrechts L, Scott TW, Gubler DJ. Consequences of the expanding global distribution of Aedes albopictus for dengue virus transmission. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010;4(5):e646.
75. Pierre V, Thiria J, Rachou E, Sissoko D, Lassalle C, Renault P. Epidémie de dengue 1 à la Réunion en 2004. Journées de veille sanitaire, Paris; Paris2005. p. 64.
76. Ledrans M, Dejour Salamanca D, cartographers. Cas importés de chikungunya et de dengue en France métropolitaine: Institut de veille sanitaire, Saint-Maurice; 2008.
77. Sousa CA, Clairouin M, Seixas G, Viveiros B, Novo MT, Silva AC, et al. Ongoing outbreak of dengue type 1 in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Portugal: preliminary report. Eurosurveillance. 2012;17(49):20333.
78. Rogers DJ, Suk JE, Semenza JC. Using global maps to predict the risk of dengue in Europe. Acta Trop. 2014 Jan;129:1-14.
79. Cancrini G, Frangipane di Regalbono A, Ricci I, Tessarin C, Gabrielli S, Pietrobelli M. Aedes albopictus is a natural vector of Dirofilaria immitis in Italy. Vet Parasitol. 2003 Dec 30;118(3-4):195-202.
80. Cancrini G, Romi R, Gabrielli S, Toma L, M DIP, Scaramozzino P. First finding of Dirofilaria repens in a natural population of Aedes albopictus. Med Vet Entomol. 2003 Dec;17(4):448-51.
81. Giangaspero A, Marangi M, Latrofa MS, Martinelli D, Traversa D, Otranto D, et al. Evidences of increasing risk of dirofilarioses in southern Italy. Parasitol Res. 2013 Mar;112(3):1357-61.
82. Kim MK, Kim CH, Yeom BW, Park SW, Choi SY, Choi SJ. The first human case of hepatic dirofilariasis. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2001;17(5):686-90.
83. Tilston N, Skelly C, Weinstein P. Pan-European Chikungunya surveillance: designing risk stratified surveillance zones. Int J Health Geogr. 2009;8:61.
84. Cotteaux-Lautard C, Berenger JM, Fusca F, Chardon H, Simon F, Pages F. A New Challenge for Hospitals in Southeast France: Monitoring Local Populations of Aedes albopictus to Prevent Nosocomial Transmission of Dengue or Chikungunya. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2013 Mar;29(1):81-3.
85. Weaver SC, Reisen WK. Present and future arboviral threats. Antiviral Res. 2010 Feb;85(2):328-45.
86. Seyler T, Grandesso F, Le Strat Y, Tarantola A, Depoortere E. Assessing the risk of importing dengue and chikungunya viruses to the European Union. Epidemics. 2009 Sep;1(3):175-84.
87. Carrieri M, Albieri A, Angelini P, Baldacchini F, Venturelli C, Zeo SM, et al. Surveillance of the chikungunya vector Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in Emilia-Romagna (northern Italy): organizational and technical aspects of a large scale monitoring system. J Vector Ecol. 2011 Jun;36(1):108-16.
88. Schaffner F, Van Bortel W, Coosemans M. First record of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus in Belgium. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2004 Jun;20(2):201-3.
89. Contini C. Aedes albopictus in Sardinia: reappearance or widespread colonization? Parassitologia. 2007 Jun;49(1-2):33-5.
90. Murphy G, Vaux A, Medlock J. Challenges in undertaking mosquito surveillance at UK seaports and airports to prevent the entry and establishment of invasive vector species. Int J Environ Health Res. 2013;23(3):181-90.
91. Ponlawat A, Scott JG, Harrington LC. Insecticide susceptibility of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus across Thailand. J Med Entomol. 2005 Sep;42(5):821-5.
92. Tantely ML, Tortosa P, Alout H, Berticat C, Berthomieu A, Rutee A, et al. Insecticide resistance in Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes from La Reunion Island. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Apr;40(4):317-24.
93. Chan HH, Zairi J. Permethrin resistance in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and associated fitness costs. J Med Entomol. 2013 Mar;50(2):362-70.
94. Chen CD, Nazni WA, Lee HL, Norma-Rashid Y, Lardizabal ML, Sofian-Azirun M. Temephos resistance in field Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) from Selangor, Malaysia. Trop Biomed. 2013 Jun;30(2):220-30.
95. Khan HA, Akram W, Shehzad K, Shaalan EA. First report of field evolved resistance to agrochemicals in dengue mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae), from Pakistan. Parasit Vectors. 2011;4:146.

Back to Top
© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 2005 - 2015