Insect of the Month (August): Yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti
Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is one of the deadliest mosquitoes known to mankind. It transmits the pathogen that causes yellow fever, but it is also the vector of several other viruses, including the pathogen that causes dengue fever, a disease of epidemic proportions on many continents. Aedes aegypti is also a vector responsible for transmission of zika virus, which was declared a global public health emergency by WHO in 2016. The mosquito is native to Africa but is now found throughout the world facilitated by ships on which it can breed in small pools of water. Some estimates indicate that the economic cost of zika virus in Latin America alone exceeded 18 billion USD, illustrating the importance of understanding vectors and their ecology to inform control strategies. icipe is at the forefront of research conducting extensive surveillance as part of risk assessment of these diseases, and to understand the ecology of the vector in order to develop tools for control.