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Zoonoses Research Unit

Field trip to Thabazimbi to catch mosquitoes

By S van Niekerk

Posted on 20 March 2012

Juliet Mentoor, Stephanie van Niekerk, Prof P Almeida, Prof M Venter
Juliet Mentoor, Stephanie van Niekerk, Prof P Almeida, Prof M Venter

Students and personnel from the ZRU together with an entomologist (Prof P Almeida) from Portugal set off to the Thabazimbi district to catch mosquitoes.

In the last two years the ZRU has recieved numerous specimens from the Thabazimbi district, specifically from Marikele Game reserve and neighboring farms, of wildlife suffering with neurological signs. Specimens included buffalo, wharthogs and rhinoceros. A buffalo was found to be positive for Shunivirus (Bunyaviridae) and several warthogs were Middelburgvirus (Togaviridae) positive.

Therefore we chose this area to catch mosquitoes. Prof P Almeida from Portugal assisted us with the light traps and relevant methods and also trained us in identifying mosquitoes morphologically. We were successful in catching mosquitoes in several locations and with the aid of Prof P Almeida identified all of them. The mosquitoes will be batched and screened with RT-PCR/isolation to detect the different arboviruses.


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