To date, Queensland Health tiger mosquito control program on Thursday Island and Horn Island has been highly successful in preventing the spread of the tiger mosquito to the Australian mainland. “However, it may only be a matter of time before the tiger mosquito gains a foothold on the mainland,” Tom says. “We need to improve our surveillance system by using population genetics and novel trapping systems.”
This work is being undertaken by Tom, colleagues from the JCU Mosquito-Borne Diseases Group, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) and the University of Melbourne. Together they are investigating novel ways to improve surveillance capacity against tiger mosquitoes.
We have been investigating various avenues in modern biology, including next-generation sequencing to examine tiger mosquito movement in the Torres Strait, novel trapping techniques involving using sound as a lure for capturing tiger mosquito males and investigating the sugar-feeding behaviour of tiger mosquitoes, as rationale for developing attractive targeted sugar baits.
JCU PhD student Tom Swan