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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 274-279

Monitor mosquito activity using standard ovitraps in Kashan County, Central Iran (April to Late September 2019)

1 Department of Medical Entomology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Environment Health, School of Public Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
3 Department of Vector-borne Diseases, CDC, Iran

Date of Submission27-Apr-2021
Date of Decision07-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance07-Sep-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Mohammad Mehdi Sedaghat
Department of Medical Entomology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Dr. Seyed Hassan Moosa-Kazemi
Department of Medical Entomology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iahs.iahs_75_21

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Aims: The aim of this study was to monitor mosquito activity with emphasis on Aedes species in Kashan County. Materials and Methods: This investigation was carried out in Kashan County, from April to late September 2019. The location coordinates of the sampling sites were marked and registered with Global Positioning System deviceand mapped using Arc Map 10.5 software. In this study, mosquitos' larvae were collected from 120 standard ovitraps, which had been placed in 15 locations in Kashan, Qamsar, and Niasar. Cyndon dactylon at 50% concentration was used as an oviposition attractant (250 ml/trap). Ovitraps were visited regularly to check for eggs or larvae. The mosquito's larvae were identified using a systematic key. Results: A total of 535 mosquitos' larvae were collected from ovitraps and were identified under two genera Culex and Culiseta. The collected species were Culex pipiens Linnaeus, 1758 (72.4%), Culex theileri Theobald, 1903 (18.3%), Culex torrentium Martini, 1925 (0.2%) and Culiseta longiareolata (Macquart, 1838) (9.1%). This is the first report of present Cx. torrentium Martini, 1925 in Kashan County. Culex pipiens Linnaeus, 1758 was found at 13 locations from 15. In this study, there were 4.46 larvae per ovitrap. Conclusions: Although no samples of Aedes mosquitoes were captured in this preliminary study, further investigations using different methods of mosquito collection should be done to accurately comment on the current fauna of Kashan Aedes.

Keywords: Culex pipiens, Culex torrentium, mosquitoes, ovitrap

How to cite this article:
Asgarian TS, Moosa-Kazemi SH, Dehghani R, Mirolyaei A, Sedaghat MM. Monitor mosquito activity using standard ovitraps in Kashan County, Central Iran (April to Late September 2019). Int Arch Health Sci 2021;8:274-9

How to cite this URL:
Asgarian TS, Moosa-Kazemi SH, Dehghani R, Mirolyaei A, Sedaghat MM. Monitor mosquito activity using standard ovitraps in Kashan County, Central Iran (April to Late September 2019). Int Arch Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Nov 30];8:274-9. Available from: http://www.iahs.kaums.ac.ir/text.asp?2021/8/4/274/334289

  Introduction Top

Vector-borne diseases account for around 17% of the estimated global burden of communicable diseases and disproportionately affect poorer populations. 80% of the world's population lives in areas where there are a risk of at least one or more vector-borne disease. More than half of the world's population is at risk of two or more vector-borne diseases, and Over 700,000 deaths occur by vector-borne diseases each year. The risk of infection is high for some viral pathogens, especially in areas where there are favorable habitats for Aedes and Culex mosquitoes to proliferate and are in close contact with humans. Vector-borne diseases impede economic development through direct medical costs and indirect costs such as loss of productivity and tourism.[1] Vector-borne diseases are also a major health problem in different parts of Iran. Mosquitoes are most important arthropods in health.[2],[3],[4] The mosquitoes are from the order Diptera, sub order Nematocera, and the family Culicidae.[5] Due to recent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and West Nile fever in Pakistan, dengue and rift valley fever in Saudi Arabia, and West Nile Fever in Iraq,[6],[7],[8] Iran is at serious risk of these diseases. Mansonia uniformis was added to Iranian mosquito checklist thus there are 70 species and 8 (or 12) genera depending the classification of the tribe Aedini.[9] The agents of 15 vector-borne diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes in Iran, including seven arboviral diseases, two bacterial diseases, four filarial and two protozoal diseases.[2],[10] Confirmation of the presence of Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) in Sistan and Baluchestan Province[11] and neighboring countries is an alarm for international health regulations and vector control in Iran.

It is important that survey the native mosquitoes of each area because globalization has increased susceptibility to mosquito-borne diseases. Economic and social factors, global trade, transport, and tourism have caused the spread of vectors and diseases transmitted by them.[12] The arrival of an exotic mosquito species in a new location is an important issue that leads to the spread of mosquitoes. Over the past three decades, the global spread of A. albopictus from Asia to other continents has led to the establishment of this species in Middle East, Africa, Southern Europe, America, and Oceania.[11]

About mosquitoes in Kashan County, a number of studies have been done in previous years. Zaim reported 14 species of Culicidae in this county.[13] Doroudgar et al. studied vectors of malaria in Kashan.[14] Dehghani et al., in two studies on fauna aquatic insects, reported 453 (43.89%), and 639 (49.7%) of caught larvae and pupae were Culicidae, collected from sewage maturation ponds of Kashan University of Medical Science and Kashan County, respectively. In other studies in this county, 70% of the adult insects caught from inside the houses were Culicidae.[15],[16],[17] In the newest study in Kashan County, Asgarian et al. studied fauna and larval habitat characteristics of Culicidae, and 13 species reported.[18]

Due to the construction of bird garden in Qamsar, and the entry of birds from 17 different countries into this area, the need to monitor mosquito activity with emphasis on Aedes species was felt in this county. Therefore, at the same time as studying the larval habitats of mosquitoes,[18] the Aedes mosquito surveillance program was carried out in Kashan County using ovitrop, which is a special trap for Aedes mosquitoes.

Due to the special behavior of Aedes mosquitoes, especially Ae. albopictus (Skuse, 1895) and Ae. aegypti (Linnaeus in Hasselquist, 1762), they cannot be collected effectively using conventional collection methods used in the surveillance of malaria vectors. Therefore, the use of new sampling methods is necessary according to the purpose of surveillance in entomological programs of Aedes mosquitoes.[19] Ovitraps are very simple and are considered effective for container-inhabiting Aedes species. Ovitrap consists of a small black plastic bucket (0.3–1.0 l, 2/3 filled with water and with a hole preventing overflowing and flooding the eggs) and an oviposition support (usually germination paper, a wooden stick, or a piece of polystyrene).[12]

The aim of this study was to monitor mosquito activity with emphasis on Aedes species in Kashan County, central Iran.

  Materials and Methods Top

Kashan County is located at the center of Iran, in the northern part of Isfahan Province. The county is divided into four districts: The Central, Qamsar, Niasar, and Barzok Districts [Figure 1], and has seven cities. The climate of County is variable due to the low and high. The northern and eastern regions of Kashan County, including flat and wide plains with hot and dry desert climate, and the southern and western regions, including mountainous and foothill areas, have a temperate mountainous climate.[20]
Figure 1: Maps of (a) Iran (b) Kashan County (c) Isfahan Province

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This is a faunistic and descriptive-sectional study that was done in Central, Qamsar, and Niasar Districts in Kashan County. In order to monitor the population of arbovirus vectors in Kashan County, oviteraps were used as the most common monitoring tool. In this study, two types of ovitraps including Singapore ovitrap and standard black pot with a volume of 500 ml (with a hole preventing overflowing and flooding the eggs) and a wooden stick as an oviposition suppor) were used. Cyndon dactylon at 50% concentration was used as an oviposition attractant (250 ml/trap). 31.25 g of grass was added to 7.5 liters of tap water and kept for 7 days. Grass infusion solution was diluted with tap water to 10%, and transferred to ovitraps.[21],[22] Ovitraps were positioned close to or under vegetation or near buildings and labeled, “Scientific study. Please do not remove” [Figure 2], and checked for mosquito eggs, larvae, or pupae.
Figure 2: Ovitraps: (a) Standard black pot and (b) Singapore model

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In this study, 120 standard ovitraps were positioned in 15 locations in Kashan, Qamsar, and Niasar (including different topographical areas). Depending on the area, 5 or 10 ovitraps were placed. In Kashan, Qamsar, and Niasar cities, 60, 30 and 30 ovitraps were placed, respectively. These ovitraps were placed in human and animal places, near the plants, as well as near natural and artificial larval habitats since the beginning of the mosquito activity season in April and were regularly visited to late September depending on the weather conditions of the study areas in terms of heat and the possibility of water evaporation inside the ovitraps in tropical and cold regions. During the visits, the wooden stick inside the ovitraps were examined for the presence of eggs, the water in the ovitraps was also poured into containers and taken to Aedes insectary, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) to check for mosquito larvae and pupae, then ovitraps were again filled with grass infusion solution. The entomological survey was carried out in Kashan County from April to late September 2019. The larvae became transparent in lactophenol, and each larva was individually mounted on a microscope slide and identified to species using a systematic key.[23] Some mosquitoe specimens were deposited in the museum of medical entomology, TUMS.

The location coordinates of the sampling sites were identified and recorded with the Global Positioning System device. Arch Map 10.5 software was used to create a geographic database of ovitraps and mapping the sites of collection and distribution of the most important species of medicine [Figure 3] and [Table 1]. Data analysis was performed with software of SPSS Statistics 26. A significance level of α = 0.05 was used when using ANOVA for means comparison.
Figure 3: Map of ovitrap installation sites in Kashan County, Central Iran, 2019

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Table 1: Coordinates of the entomological surveillance sites and mosquito larvae identified from ovitraps in Kashan County, Central Iran, 2019

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  Results Top

No Aedes eggs and larvae were found on wooden sticks and waters in the ovitraps. However, a total of 535 mosquito' larvae were collected from waters and identified morphologically as Culex pipiens Linnaeus, 1758 (72.4%), Culex theileri Theobald, 1903 (18.3%), Culex torrentium Martini, 1925 (0.2%), and Culiseta longiareolata (Macquart, 1838) (9.1%). Culex spp. and Culiseta spp. mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of the water. But the Aedes mosquitoes lay their eggs on the inner, wet walls of containers with water above the waterline. Therefore, this is the reason for the presence of larvae in the water despite the presence of eggs on the wooden sticks.

The most prevalent species was Cx. pipiens followed by Cx. theileri in ovitraps. Culex pipiens was found at 13 locations from 15. The highest number of larvae of this species was in ovitraps placed in bird garden, fish farming and wastewater treatment, respectively.

All of four mosquito species were found from ovitraps in Qamsar bird garden. Culex torrentium was only found in July from one of the ovitraps in the bird garden. This is the first report of the present Cx. torrentium in Kashan County. The highest number of larvae was caught from ovitraps placed in Qamsar bird garden, with 12 larvae per ovitrap. In the locations of railway station and Ayatollah Madani Park, there were no eggs and larvae. In this study, there were 4.46 larvae per ovitrap. Culiseta longiareolata larvae was detected from five locations, that the highest number was reported from ovitraps in Khonb village [Table 1].

  Discussion Top

The ovitrap was first designed in 1966 to monitor the Aedes population.[24] We did not catch Aedes eggs or larvae from ovitraps. At the same time, in a study that conducted at the larval habitats of mosquitoes in Kashan County, also no Aedes larvae were caught.[18] Zaim did not catch Aedes larvae in Kashan, but adults of Aedes caspius (Pallas, 1771) s.l. and Ae. pulcritarsis (Rondani, 1872) reported only once in early May from Aliabad (Aran and Bidgol County) and July from Dehnar, respectively.[13] Dehghani et al. reported that Aedes adults were observed in houses, but in their study, the species of Aedes were not mentioned.[17]

The results of our study are consistent with other studies in Iran. Doosti did not catch Aedes from ovitraps and reported two species of Culex, including Cx. perexiguus Theobald, 1903 and Cx. pipiens Linnaeus, 1758.[25] In Dorud County, Lorestan Province, Cx. pipiens Linnaeus, 1758 and Anopheles stephensi Liston, 1901 were catched from ovitraps.[26] Therefore ovitraps are very suitable for catching species of mosquitoes that prefer small habitats and stagnant waters. Furthermore, none of the ovitraps were positive for Aedes in Mazandaran Province.[27]

In the present study, Culex mosquitoes were the most abundant species founded in ovitraps all of the study sites. So most Culex mosquitoes are likely to lay eggs in stagnant water.[28] In our study, the most common species in ovitraps were Cx. pipiens. This species can be found in both urban and sub-urban temperate and tropical regions across the world.[29] The habitat of Cx. pipiens larvae can be divided into natural and artificial. This species was also most abundant collected from larval habitats of mosquitoes in Kashan County. It is a very active species in Kashan County and causes the most inconvenience to people in cities and villages.[13],[18]

Culex pipiens Linnaeus, 1758 is a vector for many arbovirus diseases that can be found across many regions of the globe, same as of Rift Valley fever, Japan encephalitis, and West Nile virus (WNV).[30],[31] Culex pipiens and Cx. qinquefasciatus have a prominent role in spreading West Nile virus.[32] In nature, WNV is held in a mosquito-bird-mosquito transmission cycle and Culex spp. are the main vectors.[33]

Culex torrentium Martini, 1925 belong to Cx. pipiens complex. The Cx. pipiens complex populations are distinct in behavior and physiology, which This greatly affects their ability for pathogen transmission and their vectorial capacity.[29] Culex pipiens may be associated with many species and share some larval sites with Cx. torrentium. Culex pipiens and Cx. torrentium, can be distinguished by Harbach's (1988) key using some features (seta 1-III-V, seta 1-M, seta 1-X, seta 1-C, and some other characters).[34] This is the first report of the present C. torrentium in Kashan County. This species has not been reported from Kashan larval habitats.[13],[18] Leggewie et al. showed that Cx. pipiens biotype pipiens and Cx. torrentium mosquitoes native to Germany are susceptible to WNV infection at 25°C and 18°C incubation temperature.[35] Culex torrentium mosquitoes were the most permissive species and had maximum infection rates (96%) at 25°C. So, Cx. torrentium has been identified as a potent vector for WNV in central and northern Europe.[36] West Nile virus has spread in Africa, America, Southern Europe, Australia, and Asia. The virus has been reported from some of Iran's neighboring countries.[37] Fereidouni et al. provided first evidence of the prevalence of WNV antibody in water birds in Iran.[38] Chinikar et al. determined the seroprevalence of WNV in human and equine sera in Iran.[39] In a study in the north of Iran Cx. pipiens infection was reported with this virus.[40]

In our study, Cx. theileri Theobald, 1903 was the most aboundant species after Cx. pipiens that was collectad from ovitraps. Culex theileri is found in the most parts of the world and has been recorded in all provinces of Iran.[41],[42],[43],[44] Culex theileri is a major vector of Rift Valley fever virus (Bunyaviridae: Phlebovirus) in South Africa[45] and it plays a role in the transmission of Dirofilaria immitis nematode. In Iran, the third stage of Cx. theileri larva, naturally was infected with D. immitis, may be the main vector of this parasite.[44],[46]

Adults of Cs. longiareolata (Macquart, 1838) are often blood-sucking from birds, never enter human places, and rarely attack humans outside. This species can transfers diseases such as West Nile, encephalitis,  Brucellosis More Details, avian influenza,[47] and its larvae are known as mosquito larvae predators.[48] This mosquito has a variety of larval habitats and is found in clear to turbid and polluted waters, as well as in fresh and salt water. Its larvae have also been caught from different habitats in Kashan County.[13],[18]

Identifying the major vectors of pathogens and their impact on disease transmission rates is important for understanding the patterns of transmission. Many diseases transmitted to humans by vectors are zoonoses, including yellow fever, West Nile, St. Louis, eastern equine encephalitis, Lyme disease, rickettsia, and plague that have amplification cycles involving species other than humans. Their reservoirs are primates, small mammals and birds.[29],[49] Surveillance is an important tool that provides the necessary knowledge about mosquitoes in an area, and it helps to determine if the pathogen is transmitted in the area.[12],[50] Entomological surveillance, may provide the ability to detect early circulation of arbovirus in a particular area. Ovitrap is an environmentally-friendly method, cheap and fast for determining the density, frequency, seasonal activity, and geographical distribution of mosquito vectors.[51]

  Conclusions Top

Among the study sites, the birth garden was the most important because all four species of mosquito larvae were in ovitraps positioned in this place, this supports the importance of birds as a major blood-meal host for mosquitoes. This is the first modeling study in Kashan for predicting areas with the possible presence of invasive Aedes species. Although no samples of Aedes mosquitoes were captured in this preliminary study, further investigations using different methods of mosquito collection should be continued to monitor the invasive Aedes in the future. Due to the pandemic of Covid-19, and in order to entomological surveillance programs, use of passive sampling methods which require less contact is recommended.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Ethical clearance was earned from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. This work was supported as No.: IR.TUMS.VCR.REC.1397.1001, 2019-2-23.


Authors are grateful to Dr SM Asgarian for helping with field collections. We are also thankful Health Deputy, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, for Cooperation. The authors declare the ethical approval code as No.: IR.TUMS.VCR.REC.1397.1001.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1]


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