Egizietal2018(EcoHealth) This was a project that was a long time in the making! But we accumulated co-authors along the way and the content became more and more interesting. Culex erraticus is a southern mosquito species that was first detected in NJ in 1969 and became officially present across all 21 NJ counties by 2011. We performed a bloodmeal analysis on specimens “set-aside” by county mosquito control programs across NJ and found that the primary (over 50%) blood hosts for this mosquito in NJ are large-sized waterbirds such as double-crested cormorants and green herons. In that blood we also found a new species of bird malaria (Plasmodium) that appears to be a wetland bird specialist. Unlike exotic mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus or the house mosquito, Culex pipiens, that are domestic and for the most part do not venture away from cities and suburbs, native species moving north are out there, in nature. Their expansion may therefore have strong effects on wildlife, which may spill over to humans – for example, birds are the reservoir hosts for deadly arboviruses such as Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV). Cx. erraticus does bite humans also.
February 27, 2018 – Andrea is featured in the NPR series “Goats and Soda” by Courtney Columbus. The blog includes interviews of two main actors (Tadhgh Rainey and Andrea) about the finding of a multistage infestation of Haemaphysalis longirostris in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, last summer.
If you would like to learn more, the NPR article contains a link to the research article that Andrea and Jim Occi (and collaborators) published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
13 December 2017 – Sammi’s ms entitled “The importance of being urgent: the impact of surveillance target and scale on mosquito-borne disease control” by Sammi Schwab, Chris Stone, Dina Fonseca and Nina Fefferman was accepted in “Epidemics”! This a modeling analysis of the pros and cons of using different threshold targets on arboviral control outcomes and starts to put together a mathematical framework for decision making in mosquito control. Congratulations Sammi!
11 December 2017 – Andrea ms entitled “A historical snapshot of Ixodes scapularis-borne pathogens in New Jersey ticks reflects a changing disease landscape” by Egizi, Rogner, Faraji, Healy and Jordan was officially accepted in Tick & Tick Borne Diseases. Andrea is now officially an “insider” in the world of tick research! Congratulations Andrea!
11 December 2017 – Found out today that “Early detection of terrestrial invasive insect infestations by using eDNA from crop surfaces” by Valentin, Fonseca, Nielsen, Leskey and Lockwood was formally accepted for publication in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a ESA (the Ecology one) journal. Frontiers publishes short, high-impact research communications of broad interdisciplinary appeal. Congratulations Rafael!