With concern about Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases rising nationwide, public health officials have turned to NC State University and other universities to get a better sense of what types of mosquitoes live in the state.
To conduct surveys at 16 sites across the state, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services sought the help of Dr. Michael Reiskind, NC State assistant professor of entomology, and two colleagues from East Carolina and Western Carolina universities.
Their studies will run through October, but so far, they haven’t found any Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito that is considered the dominant carrier of the Zika virus. However, the researchers did find an expectedly significant number of eggs for Aedes albopictus, or the Asian Tiger mosquito, which infects people with Zika less frequently but is still a public health concern.
The research survey is just one way that Reiskind and his students are expanding knowledge of mosquitoes and the diseases they spread. Here, he discusses recent research on how suburban development affects mosquito populations.