Malaria Carrying Mosquitoes Return to Italy's Coast

Malaria vaccines are available in 2024
Italy Malaria 2024
BMC Anopheles sacharovi in Italy - April 2024
Italy (Precision Vaccinations News)

Italy was declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) fifty years ago. Like many European countries, Italy gradually eliminated malaria outbreaks by draining wetlands where mosquitoes breed, using insecticides and window screens, and offering antimalarial drugs.

Over the past decade, international travelers and immigrants have mostly imported malaria cases within the WHO European region.

As of April 2024, the WHO lists 43 countries and one territory as malaria-free, including Italy.

However, new research reports on the collaborative activities conducted by the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Puglia and Basilicata and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità have been able to document the presence of potential malaria vectors, such as An. labranchiae, Anopheles superpictus Grassi, 1899 and An. algeriensis in Italy's Apulia and Basilicata regions.

This notable rediscovery in the coastal areas of southeastern Italy enabled researchers to reintegrate An. sacharovi in the Italian Culicidae fauna. Adults of An. sacharovi were found indoors, resting in animal shelters or landing on humans at dusk.

Furthermore, a typical natural breeding site was identified with infected mosquitoes, completing the entomological investigation.

These researchers wrote on April 10, 2024, 'Beyond these findings, it is necessary to underline the importance of strengthening and maintaining constant surveillance of residual anophelism, especially in vulnerable areas where sporadic malaria transmission could be possible.

'Our findings, confirmed by two point-in-time investigations in 2 consecutive years, represent a valid basis for rethinking and building new models for predicting and expanding introduced malaria.'

'Although vector densities do not currently appear to be epidemiologically relevant enough to pose a health threat (in 2024), the conditions for a renewal of transmission in several Mediterranean countries still exist, as reported in Greece in 2011.'

As of April 30, 2024, neither approved malaria vaccine is offered in Italy.

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