University of Malta

Working Group for Vector Borne Diseases
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Campus Map button

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 2010 between the Institute of Earth Systems and the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit (IDCU) of the Health Division. This initiative was a response to the discovery in Malta earlier that year of the Asian Tiger mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse, 1894) (Diptera: Culicidae), a species of considerable medical and veterinary importance.  A. albopictus is a laboratory-competent vector of at least 22 arboviruses (Gratz, 2004) and a proven efficient vector of chikungunya and dengue viruses.  It also transmits dirofilariasis to dogs (Cancrini et al., 2003), with a related risk of transmission to humans.  

An information leaflet (page 1, page 2) issued by the health authorities provides basic guidelines on how to prevent the proliferation of A. albopictus and how to avoid being bitten.

Through the above MOU, a Working Group for Vector Borne Diseases was set up to develop a strategy for the surveillance of A. albopictus in Malta. Specific aims included determining the mosquito’s distribution by following up sightings reported by the public, as well as monitoring potential introduction and breeding sites. A technical briefing session on the potential problems presented by this mosquito was held on campus during August 2010 and was attended by Health Inspectors working in various areas of Malta and Gozo. The objectives of this session were to discuss the mosquito’s behaviour and ecology, to present the proposed monitoring programme and to examine possible control measures.

A detailed report was forwarded in December 2010 to Dr Ray Busuttil, Director General of the Public Health Department. The report described the nationwide surveillance network and the related methodology that was developed and implemented with the purpose of monitoring the mosquito’s distribution in the Maltese Islands, and also provided recommendations aimed at keeping the mosquito’s population under check.  



The map shows locations of confirmed sightings of A. albopictus in Malta as of 3rd December 2010. No sightings had been reported in either Gozo or Comino by that date.

Launch of new M.Sc. programme

M.Sc. in Natural Environment and Resources Management opening in October 2018

FOCUS ON Climate Change

Recent research by Institute staff and students

Lecture timetables for February to June 2018

Second-semester lecture timetables for the Institute's courses

In the News!

Spotlight on events, research findings and outreach activities

IES Student Handbook

September 2017 edition now available for download

Academic Calendar 2017/2018

Calendar of important dates for the forthcoming academic year

Last Updated: 19 February 2016

Log In back to UoM Homepage