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Mosquito alert: leveraging citizen science to create a GBIF mosquito occurrence dataset - GigaScience Press

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  • Mosquito alert: leveraging citizen science to create a GBIF mosquito occurrence dataset - GigaScience Press

    Published: 30 May 2022

    DOI 10.46471/gigabyte.54

    Živko Južnič-Zonta, Isis Sanpera-Calbet, Roger Eritja, John R.B. Palmer, Agustí Escobar, Joan Garriga, Aitana Oltra, Alex Richter-Boix, Francis Schaffner, Alessandra della Torre, Miguel Ángel Miranda, Marion Koopmans, Luisa Barzon, Frederic Bartumeus Ferre* Mosquito Alert Digital Entomology Network
    Mosquito Alert Community


    The Mosquito Alert dataset includes occurrence records of adult mosquitoes collected worldwide in 2014–2020 through Mosquito Alert, a citizen science system for investigating and managing disease-carrying mosquitoes. Records are linked to citizen science-submitted photographs and validated by entomologists to determine the presence of five targeted European mosquito vectors: Aedes albopictus, Ae. aegypti, Ae. japonicus, Ae. koreicus, and Culex pipiens. Most records are from Spain, reflecting Spanish national and regional funding, but since autumn 2020 substantial records from other European countries are included, thanks to volunteer entomologists coordinated by the AIM-COST Action, and to technological developments to increase scalability. Among other applications, the Mosquito Alert dataset will help develop citizen science-based early warning systems for mosquito-borne disease risk. It can also be reused for modelling vector exposure risk, or to train machine-learning detection and classification routines on the linked images, to assist with data validation and establishing automated alert systems.

    Main Content
    Data description

    Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are infections caused by pathogens transmitted by carrier species (vectors), most of which are arthropods. VBDs are a major global health issue, with 80% of the world’s population at risk of one or more of these diseases [1]. VBDs account for 17% of the global burden of communicable diseases, with over 1 billion infections and over 700,000 deaths caused by VBDs annually [1]. Many of these diseases, once limited to tropical and subtropical zones, are now increasingly seen in temperate areas [1, 2].

    Among VBDs, mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) account for a large share of cases. In 2017 the World Health Organization estimated over 347 million MBD cases and over 447,000 deaths caused by MBDs annually [1]. Of the 3591 known species of mosquitoes (order Diptera; family Culicidae) [3], only a fraction are involved in disease transmission or cause considerable nuisance to human and animal populations. These include invasive species that are spreading throughout Europe owing to globalization and climate change [2, 4]. ...