Polar Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 8, pp 1581–1586 | Cite as

No indication of arthropod-vectored viruses in mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) collected on Greenland and Svalbard

  • Jana Müllerová
  • Jana Elsterová
  • Jiří ČernýEmail author
  • Oleg Ditrich
  • Jakub Žárský
  • Lauren E. Culler
  • Helge Kampen
  • Doreen Walther
  • Stephen J. Coulson
  • Daniel Růžek
  • Libor Grubhoffer
Original Paper


Viruses transmitted to vertebrates via arthropod vectors (so-called arboviruses) include many important pathogens such as dengue virus, Zika virus, and Sindbis virus. Mosquitoes represent the major vectors of many of these arboviruses and occur in all climatic zones, including the Arctic. The focal species, Aedes nigripes (Diptera: Culicidae), is the most widely distributed mosquito species in the Arctic. We screened over 11,000 specimens collected between 2012 and 2016 on Greenland (Kangerlussuaq) and Svalbard (Petuniabukta) for the presence of arboviruses which have previously been reported in latitudes up to 70°N. Assays for arbovirus detection using RT-PCR with primers specific for the genera Alphavirus (family Togaviridae), Orthobunyavirus, Phlebovirus (Bunyaviridae), Flavivirus (Flaviviridae), and Orbivirus (Reoviridae) were negative for all specimens. Similar results were recently obtained in a screening focused on tick-borne pathogens on Svalbard. The findings suggest that the circulation of arboviruses at studied localities is currently negligible or nonexistent, possibly due to dispersal, climate, or biotic restrictions. However, global climate change could enhance vector abundance and activity, introduction of invasive host species, and increase in tourism which then could lead to emerging arbovirus outbreaks in the future, with considerable impact on local ecosystems.


Aedes nigripes Mosquitoes Arbovirus Arctic Svalbard Greenland 



Our thanks belong to the whole team of the Centre of Polar Ecology at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, for their help and support during the field work, notably to Dr. Josef Elster for the possibility to participate in the field work on Svalbard, to Dr. Václav Pavel, Dr. Jan Kavan, Dr. Alexandra Bernardová, and Martin Lulák for logistic support, and to our laboratory technician Zuzana Vavrušková for her help with benchwork. Our thanks further belong to Dr. Daniel Růžek for the methodological and theoretical guidance of our team. The project was supported by LM2015078 CzechPolar2 - Czech Polar Research Infrastructure and ECOPOLARIS project No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_013/0001708 provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. Further, the research was supported by the Czech Grant Agency (GA15-03044S to JM, JC, and LG) and by ECDC & EFSA (funding to HK and DW within the VectorNet project). Funding was provided by Dartmouth’s Biology Department (R. Melville Cramer Fund) and a NSF IGERT Fellowship (NSF award 0801490) to LEC. Access to instruments and other facilities was supported by the Czech Research Infrastructure for Systems Biology C4SYS (project no LM2015055).

Supplementary material

300_2017_2242_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Müllerová
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jana Elsterová
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jiří Černý
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Oleg Ditrich
    • 2
  • Jakub Žárský
    • 4
  • Lauren E. Culler
    • 5
    • 6
  • Helge Kampen
    • 7
  • Doreen Walther
    • 8
  • Stephen J. Coulson
    • 9
    • 10
  • Daniel Růžek
    • 1
    • 3
  • Libor Grubhoffer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of SciencesČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Centre for Polar Ecology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South Bohemia in České BudějoviceČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Veterinary Research InstituteBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of EcologyCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic
  5. 5.Institute of Arctic StudiesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  6. 6.Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  7. 7.Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal HealthUppsalaGermany
  8. 8.Leibniz-Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e. VMünchebergGermany
  9. 9.Department of Arctic BiologyUniversity Centre in SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  10. 10.ArtDatabanken, Swedish Species Information CentreSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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