Laboratory for Medical Entomology
The Laboratory of Medical Entomology deals with arthropods of veterinary and zoonotic relevance (insects and mites including ticks) which can be ectoparasites and vectors of disease agents.
Among other haematophagous ectoparasites and vectors, mosquitoes (Diptera, Culicidae), biting midges (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) and ticks (Acari) are studied which may transmit the agents of important animal diseases and zoonoses during blood-feeding. These include the causative agents of bluetongue disease, Schmallenberg disease, West Nile fever, Rift Valley fever, and African Swine fever. Particular attention is paid to invasive species such as the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus and the Asian bush mosquito Aedes japonicus, which have recently been introduced into Germany and are characterised by a high vector potential. However, indigenous blood-feeding species are also considered, as their biology, ecology and vector competences are often insufficiently examined.
The ecoepidemiologically, infectiologically and genetically oriented research activities combine classical field and modern laboratory methods. In the field, for example, studies are carried out on the distribution, seasonal dynamics, host preference and feeding behaviour of potential vector species. In the laboratory, infectiological and molecular examinations are conducted as to the pathology, mechanisms of transmission, vector competence, transmission dynamics and interactions between disease agent, vector and vertebrate host. Insectaries for rearing arthropods and high security containments for infection and transmission studies are available at the FLI’s facilities.