The XI International Conference of the EMCA, held from November 7th to 10th, 2023, in Palma de Mallorca, served as a gathering for vector control specialists to share research and insights. With the theme “Shaping the Future of Vector Control in Europe,” the conference was organized by Dr. Francis Schaffner, president of EMCA, along with Dr. Carlos Barceló and Prof. Miguel A. Miranda from the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB). Among the highlights was E4Warning’s presentation on their Mark-Release-Recapture (MRR) experiments with Culex pipiens mosquitoes.
Eva Veronesi from SUPSI discussed the developed protocol for breeding, marking, and recapturing these mosquitoes and shared preliminary results from two pilot studies conducted in Switzerland last September. These studies are vital for understanding mosquito behavior and movement, key factors in vector-borne disease control.
The MRR technique, a fundamental method in ecological studies, involves capturing, marking, and releasing individuals back into their environment, then recapturing them after a period. This technique provides insights into movement patterns, survival rates, and population sizes, crucial for ecological and epidemiological studies.
In the summer of 2024, these methodologies will be applied in Switzerland and Spain to study the dispersal capacity of Culex mosquitoes, especially Culex pipiens and Culex molestus, which are known for transmitting the West Nile Virus (WNV).
These experiments are part of Work Package 5 (WP5) in the E4Warning project, which focuses on quantifying and understanding the movements of both vectors (mosquitoes) and hosts (birds) in WNV transmission. The data obtained will be instrumental in developing strategies to control WNV in Europe.
Additionally, the conference served as a valuable meeting point for various partners involved in the E4Warning project. This opportunity for face-to-face interaction and collaboration among researchers and specialists was crucial for fostering synergy and advancing the project’s objectives. Such gatherings reinforce the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing public health challenges like vector-borne diseases.