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For Immediate Release: 
Friday, October 28, 2016

Brock University - Communications & Public Affairs

Live and dial-in press conference will be held at 1:15 p.m. to address the discovery of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for the first time in Canada

On Friday morning, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced the discovery of the “yellow fever mosquito”, Aedes aegypti, in Windsor. This species is thought to be responsible for the majority of human cases of Zika virus infection worldwide.

The discovery was made during enhanced surveillance for Aedes albopictus, another invasive species discovered earlier this summer in Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. The team involved in the discovery of Aedes aegpyti included scientists from Public Health Ontario, Entomogen Inc., and Brock University. The discovery of Aedes aegypti is believed to be the first time the species has been found in Canada.

Bryan Giordano, PhD candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology at Brock, tested the mosquitoes for Zika virus in Brock University’s CL3 laboratory; all three Aedes aegypti mosquitoes tested negative for Zika.

Brock University will host a press conference Friday, Oct. 28 at 1:15 p.m. with Hunter, Giordano and Alessio Gasparotto, Manager, Entomogen Inc., the company that identifies mosquitoes for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s mosquito surveillance program.

This will be the team’s only media availability in relation to the Aedes aegypti discovery.

Hunter and the team can speak to:

  • The significance of finding these species in Windsor and the ongoing collection efforts for them in Niagara. Windsor and Niagara are the likely points of entry due to their geography.
  • The fact that although these locations have summer climates conducive to permitting these species to reproduce, cold winter temperatures most certainly will kill off Aedes aegypti and probably Aedes albopictus.
  • How the team will use gene sequencing to determine the source of these specimens – either from the southern U.S., the north-eastern U.S. or from an overseas country.
  • The international efforts to control Aedes aegypti, a species of international concern because it can vector yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, chikungunya and Zika. 

On display for photography purposes will be the types of traps used to collect Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti and pinned specimens of both species (from Brock’s research colonies).

Brock University Media Conference

When: 1:15 p.m.

Where: Room 207, Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way.

Phone Access: Call 647-426-3117 and use conference code 643316

Who: Fiona Hunter, Professor of Medical Entomology, Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University; Bryan Giordano, PhD candidate, Centre for Biotechnology; Alessio Gasparotto, Manager, Entomogen Inc.

Media Contact: 

Dan Dakin,
Media Relations Officer, Brock University
ddakin@brocku.ca
905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970