Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Latitudinal diversity of biting midge species within the Obsoletus group across three habitats in Europe
Möhlmann, T.W.R. ; Bekendam, A.M. ; Kemenade, I. van; Wennergren, U. ; Favia, G. ; Takken, W. ; Koenraadt, C.J.M. - \ 2019
Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2019). - ISSN 0269-283X
bluetongue - Culicoides - livestock disease - Obsoletus complex - Onderstepoort light trap - Schmallenberg - species composition - vectors

Culicoides species from the Obsoletus group are important vectors of bluetongue and Schmallenberg virus. This group consists of several species that cannot easily be identified using morphological characteristics. Therefore, limited information is available about their distribution and habitat preferences. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the species composition of the Obsoletus group in three habitat types at climatically different latitudes across Europe. Traps were placed in three habitat types in three countries at different latitudes. After DNA extraction, biting midges were identified using PCR and gel electrophoresis. Extraction of DNA using Chelex proved to be a cost and time efficient method for species identification. A latitudinal effect on the relative abundance of species from the Obsoletus group was found. Species composition was unique for most country-habitat combinations. The majority of biting midges were either C. obsoletus s.s. or C. scoticus, and both species were found at all latitudes and habitats. Their wide distribution and their high abundance at livestock farms make these species likely candidates for rapid farm-to-farm transmission of pathogens throughout Europe. Our results emphasize the need to differentiate Obsoletus group species to better understand their ecology and contribution to pathogen transmission.

Effect of overwintering on survival and vector competence of the West Nile virus vector Culex pipiens
Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. ; Möhlmann, Tim W.R. ; Verhulst, Niels O. ; Spitzen, Jeroen ; Vogels, Chantal B.F. - \ 2019
Parasites & Vectors 12 (2019)1. - ISSN 1756-3305
Diapause - Longevity - Mosquito - Overwintering - Survival - Vector competence - West Nile virus

Background: West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that is mainly transmitted among birds by Culex pipiens mosquitoes. The species Cx. pipiens consists of two biotypes named pipiens and molestus, which together can form hybrids. One of the major distinctions between the biotypes is their overwintering behaviour. Adults of biotype pipiens diapause during winter, whereas biotype molestus remains actively blood-feeding. Diapausing may affect survival and vector competence of biotype pipiens. The aims of this study were therefore to identify the biotype composition of diapausing Cx. pipiens mosquitoes, to quantify survival throughout the autumn and winter months, and to determine effects of overwintering on vector competence of emerging Cx. pipiens mosquitoes for WNV. Methods: Diapausing mosquitoes were collected at two typical overwintering locations in the Netherlands. A selection of Cx. pipiens mosquitoes was identified to biotype using real-time PCR. Survival of diapausing Cx. pipiens mosquitoes during autumn and winter was monitored by placing cages with either field-collected or laboratory-reared females in houses and sheds. Vector competence of field-collected (diapausing) and laboratory-reared (non-diapausing) Cx. pipiens mosquitoes was determined to gain insight in the effect of overwintering on WNV transmission. Results: The majority (92%) of diapausing Cx. pipiens females were identified as biotype pipiens. More than 70% of diapausing Cx. pipiens mosquitoes was able to survive for more than four months in sheds, whereas diapausing in houses resulted in 100% mortality in that same period. In contrast, non-diapausing Cx. pipiens biotype pipiens mosquitoes reared in the laboratory died within a week in both houses and sheds. Vector competence of Cx. pipiens mosquitoes that had diapaused during the autumn and winter months was comparable to non-diapausing laboratory-reared mosquitoes. Conclusions: This study confirms that the majority of Cx. pipiens mosquitoes in their typical overwintering site belongs to the pipiens biotype. It shows that more than two-third of diapausing Cx. pipiens mosquitoes is able to survive winter under sheltered winter conditions. Finally, vector competence for WNV of mosquitoes that emerge from overwintering sites is not affected by their relatively old age.

Mosquitoes, midges and microbiota : European vector diversity and the spread of pathogens
Möhlmann, Tim W.R. - \ 2019
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): M. Dicke, co-promotor(en): C.J.M. Koenraadt; L.S. van Overbeek. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463433952 - 279
Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of biting midge species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in three European countries at different latitudes
Mohlmann, T.W.R. ; Wennergren, Uno ; Tälle, Malin ; Favia, Guido ; Damiani, Claudia ; Bracchetti, Luca ; Takken, W. ; Koenraadt, C.J.M. - \ 2018
Culicoides - midge sampling - species diversity - OVI trap - community ecology
Background The outbreaks of bluetongue and Schmallenberg disease in Europe have increased efforts to understand the ecology of Culicoides biting midges and their role in pathogen transmission. However, most studies have focused on a specific habitat, region, or country. To facilitate wider comparisons, and to obtain a better understanding of the spread of disease through Europe, the present study focused on monitoring biting midge species diversity in three different habitat types and three countries across Europe. Methods Biting midges were trapped using Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute light traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for during the winter months. Trapped midges were counted and identified morphologically. Indices on species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated. Community compositions were analysed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results A total of 50,085 female midges were trapped during 442 collection nights. More than 88% of these belonged to the Obsoletus group. The highest midge diversity was found in Sweden, while species richness was highest in the Netherlands, and most specimens were trapped in Italy. For habitats within countries, diversity of the trapped midges was lowest for farms in all countries. Differences in biting midge species communities were more distinct across the three countries than the three habitat types. Conclusions A core midge community could be identified, in which the Obsoletus group was the most abundant. Variations in vector communities across countries imply different patterns of disease spread throughout Europe. How specific species and their associated communities affect disease risk is still unclear. Our results emphasize the importance of midge diversity data at community level, how this differs across large geographic range within Europe, and its implications on assessing risks of midge-borne disease outbreaks.
Vector competence of biting midges and mosquitoes for Shuni virus
Möhlmann, Tim W.R. ; Oymans, Judith ; Wichgers Schreur, Paul J. ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. ; Kortekaas, Jeroen ; Vogels, Chantal B.F. - \ 2018
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12 (2018)12. - ISSN 1935-2727

Background: Shuni virus (SHUV) is an orthobunyavirus that belongs to the Simbu serogroup. SHUV was isolated from diverse species of domesticated animals and wildlife, and is associated with neurological disease, abortions, and congenital malformations. Recently, SHUV caused outbreaks among ruminants in Israel, representing the first incursions outside the African continent. The isolation of SHUV from a febrile child in Nigeria and seroprevalence among veterinarians in South Africa suggests that the virus may have zoonotic potential as well. The high pathogenicity, extremely broad tropism, potential transmission via both biting midges and mosquitoes, and zoonotic features warrants prioritization of SHUV for further research. Additional knowledge is essential to accurately determine the risk for animal and human health, and to assess the risk of future epizootics and epidemics. To gain first insights into the potential involvement of arthropod vectors in SHUV transmission, we have investigated the ability of SHUV to infect and disseminate in laboratory-reared biting midges and mosquitoes. Methodology/Principal findings: Culicoides nubeculosus, C. sonorensis, Culex pipiens pipiens, and Aedes aegypti were orally exposed to SHUV by providing an infectious blood meal. Biting midges showed high infection rates of approximately 40–60%, whereas infection rates of mosquitoes were lower than 2%. SHUV successfully disseminated in both species of biting midges, but no evidence of transmission in orally exposed mosquitoes was found. Conclusions/Significance: The results of this study show that different species of Culicoides biting midges are susceptible to infection and dissemination of SHUV, whereas the two mosquito species tested were found not to be susceptible.

Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of biting midge species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in three European countries at different latitudes
Möhlmann, Tim W.R. ; Wennergren, Uno ; Tälle, Malin ; Favia, Guido ; Damiani, Claudia ; Bracchetti, Luca ; Takken, Willem ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. - \ 2018
Parasites & Vectors 11 (2018). - ISSN 1756-3305
Community ecology - Culicoides - Midge sampling - OVI trap - Species diversity
Background: The outbreaks of bluetongue and Schmallenberg disease in Europe have increased efforts to understand the ecology of Culicoides biting midges and their role in pathogen transmission. However, most studies have focused on a specific habitat, region, or country. To facilitate wider comparisons, and to obtain a better understanding of the spread of disease through Europe, the present study focused on monitoring biting midge species diversity in three different habitat types and three countries across Europe. Methods: Biting midges were trapped using Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute light traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for during the winter months. Trapped midges were counted and identified morphologically. Indices on species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated. Community compositions were analysed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results: A total of 50,085 female midges were trapped during 442 collection nights. More than 88% of these belonged to the Obsoletus group. The highest midge diversity was found in Sweden, while species richness was highest in the Netherlands, and most specimens were trapped in Italy. For habitats within countries, diversity of the trapped midges was lowest for farms in all countries. Differences in biting midge species communities were more distinct across the three countries than the three habitat types. Conclusions: A core midge community could be identified, in which the Obsoletus group was the most abundant. Variations in vector communities across countries imply different patterns of disease spread throughout Europe. How specific species and their associated communities affect disease risk is still unclear. Our results emphasize the importance of midge diversity data at community level, how this differs across large geographic range within Europe, and its implications on assessing risks of midge-borne disease outbreaks.
Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of mosquito species (Diptera : Culicidae) in three European countries at different latitudes
Mohlmann, Tim W.R. ; Wennergren, Uno ; Tälle, Malin ; Favia, Guido ; Damiani, Claudia ; Bracchetti, Luca ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. - \ 2017
Parasites & Vectors 10 (2017). - ISSN 1756-3305 - 12 p.
Community composition - Disease vectors - Host-seeking behaviour - Non-metric multidimensional scaling - Vector surveillance - 017-4051

Background: Studies on mosquito species diversity in Europe often focus on a specific habitat, region or country. Moreover, different trap types are used for these sampling studies, making it difficult to compare and validate results across Europe. To facilitate comparisons of trapping sites and community analysis, the present study used two trap types for monitoring mosquito species diversity in three habitat types for three different countries in Europe. Methods: Mosquitoes were trapped using Biogents Sentinel (BGS), and Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus (MMLP) traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for the winter months. Indices of species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated, and community analyses were carried out with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results: A total of 11,745 female mosquitoes were trapped during 887 collections. More than 90% of the mosquitoes belonged to the genera Culex and Aedes, with Culex pipiens being the most abundant species. The highest mosquito diversity was found in Sweden. Within Sweden, species diversity was highest in wetland habitats, whereas in the Netherlands and Italy this was highest at farms. The NMDS analyses showed clear differences in mosquito communities among countries, but not among habitat types. The MMLP trapped a higher diversity of mosquito species than the BGS traps. Also, MMLP traps trapped higher numbers of mosquitoes, except for the genera Culex and Culiseta in Italy. Conclusions: A core mosquito community could be identified for the three countries, with Culex pipiens as the most abundant species. Differences in mosquito species communities were more defined by the three countries included in the study than by the three habitat types. Differences in mosquito community composition across countries may have implications for disease emergence and further spread throughout Europe. Future research should, therefore, focus on how field data of vector communities can be incorporated into models, to better assess the risk of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

The amazing world of ants
Mohlmann, T.W.R. - \ 2017
Wageningen University
Ants are all around us, yet we rarely stop to think about what makes them “tick.” Have you realised that in many ways their complex social societies resemble that of humans? In his WURtalk Tim will introduce you to some of the many ant species that share our world, and explain to you how we can benefit from their diversity.
Latitudinal diversity of culex pipiens biotypes and hybrids in farm, peri-Urban, and wetland habitats in Europe
Vogels, Chantal B.F. ; Mohlmann, Tim ; Melsen, Diede ; Favia, Guido ; Wennergren, Uno ; Koenraadt, Sander - \ 2016
PLoS ONE 11 (2016)11. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 10 p.

Despite the presence of Culex (Cx.) pipiens mosquitoes and circulation of West Nile virus (WNV), WNV outbreaks have so far not occurred in northern Europe. The species Cx. pipiens consists of two morphologically identical biotypes, pipiens and molestus, which can form hybrids. Until now, population dynamic studies of Cx. pipiens have not differentiated between biotypes and hybrids at the European scale, nor have they used comparative surveillance approaches. We therefore aimed to elucidate the relative abundance of Cx. pipiens biotypes and hybrids in three habitat types at different latitudes across Europe, using two different surveillance traps. BG-Sentinel and Mosquito-Magnet Liberty Plus traps were placed in three habitat types (farms, peri-urban, wetlands), in three European countries (Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy). Collected Cx. pipiens mosquitoes were identified to biotype with real-time PCR. Both trap types collected equal ratios of the biotypes and their hybrids. From northern to southern latitudes there was a significant decrease of pipiens and an increase of molestus. Habitat types influenced the relative ratios of biotypes and hybrids, but results were not consistent across latitudes. Our results emphasize the need to differentiate Cx. pipiens to the biotype level, especially for proper future WNV risk assessments for Europe.

Het vervroegen van gladiolen in kassen
Groen, N.P.A. ; Hoogeterp, P. ; Möhlmann, J. - \ 1971
Lisse : Laboratorium voor Bloembollenonderzoek (Praktijkmededeling / Laboratorium voor Bloembollenonderzoek Lisse nr. 37) - 8
bloembollen - gladiolus - ornamental bulbs
Het vervroegen van gladiolen in verwarmde kassen
Hoogeterp, P. ; Möhlmann, J. - \ 1965
Lisse : Laboratorium voor Bloembollenonderzoek (Praktijkmededeling / Laboratorium voor bloembollenonderzoek Lisse nr. 15)
gladiolus - teelt onder bescherming - cultuurmethoden - glastuinbouw - bloembollen - nederland - protected cultivation - cultural methods - greenhouse horticulture - ornamental bulbs - netherlands
Vanaf 1954 zijn door het Laboratorium voor Bloembollenonderzoek in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Gladiolusvereniging vervroegingsproeven genomen met gladiolen. Het doel van deze proeven is, te onderzoeken of het mogelijk is een sortiment gladiolen samen te stellen dat geschikt is voor vervroeging in verwarmde kassen.
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