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As persistent changes in weather patterns affect the spread of exotic arthropod vectors worldwide, Ontario has also seen the introduction of exotic mosquitoes and ticks. Based on Ontario’s mosquito and tick surveillance programs, this province has seen the introduction, and possible establishment, of some notable exotic species. The lone star tick is a voracious biter and implicated in red meat allergy and a vector of multiple pathogens. The Asian tiger mosquito is a known vector of Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikugunya viruses. Ontario’s current surveillance program has captured these two species during its routine surveillance, along with another exotic species, the yellow fever mosquito. This presentation will cover the surveillance of these exotic species, their possible establishment, the risk to Ontario and next steps.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Recall the basic biology of exotic ticks and mosquitoes and their potential to transmit pathogens;
- Identify the factors that allow for the spread and establishment of exotic ticks and mosquitoes;
- Describe how Ontario conducts its tick and mosquito surveillance programs;
- Identify the implications of climate change on vector-borne disease epidemiology.
Presenters: Mark P. Nelder and Curtis Russell
Dr. Mark P. Nelder is a senior program specialist with the Enteric, Zoonotic, and Vector-Borne Diseases team at PHO. In this role, Mark provides expert advice and consultative services to Ontario's public heath units on vectors and vector-borne diseases. Mark received his doctoral degree in medical and veterinary entomology from Clemson University, studying the ecology of ectoparasites, biting flies and pathogens in zoos. In addition, Mark held a post-doctoral position at Rutgers University studying the ecology and management of the invasive Asian tiger mosquito. Mark’s research interests lie with mosquito and tick ecology and the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases.
Dr. Curtis Russell is a senior program specialist with the Enteric, Zoonotic, and Vector-Borne Diseases team at Public Health Ontario. In this role, Curtis provides expert advice and consultative services to Ontario's public heath units on vector-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. He received his doctorate in biology from Brock University with a particular focus on mosquitoes and their potential to transmit West Nile Virus to humans.
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