• Arbovirus ecology in Africa

  • Arbovirus ecology in Africa

  • Arbovirus ecology in Africa


The research of this lab group focuses on arboviruses in Africa. Africa has been the source of most major mosquito-borne viruses of medical importance. Recent epidemics and outbreaks of Zika virus, Yellow fever virus, Chikungunya virus, West Nile virus or Dengue virus have shown that stable zoonoses can flare-up or spread with serious public health impacts. The increasing population and extension of urban environments promote contact between humans and infected wildlife or sylvatic vectors. Due to urbanization vectors such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus find new breeding sites and adapt to the human environment. Several arboviruses are endemic in Africa but often little is known about their prevalence and distribution. Many fevers of unknown origin tend to be recorded as malaria and so the identification of arboviral infections in resource-poor settings is challenging. We like to understand how vector-borne diseases are transmitted in these endemic areas of Africa and we want to improve our knowledge of the distribution of diseases and major vectors.

Research Projects

Domestication of Aedes aegypti and the effect on virus diversity and distribution based on a field study in Benin, West Africa

Aedes aegypti is one of the most important vector for arboviruses. The evolutionary origin of Ae. aegypti lies in Sub-Saharan Africa, from where it spread throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The ancestral form could still be found in Africa and could morphologically be distinguished from the domesticated form. This form is found in close association with human habitats and breeds in artificial containers and primarily bites humans. With the domestication of vector species, including a change in the hostfeeding behavior (zoophagy to anthropophagy), humans are challenged with new pathogens. Therefore the process of vector domestication is an extremely important phenomenon to understand the emergence of zoonoses. We want to gain new insights in how the adaption to the human environment influences vector behavior and if there are consequences on virus prevalence. Ae. aegypti are trapped along a transect in Benin, West Africa, reaching from urban sites with high anthropogenic impact, over rural sites with medium anthrophogenic impact to sylvatic sites with low anthropogenic impact. All trapped Ae. aegypti are analyzed with molecular methods and metagenome analyses to determine virus prevalence. The focus should not only be on known arboviruses, but rather on the detection of previously unknown and mosquito-only viruses. Furthermore the different Ae. aegypti populations are analyzed according to changes in the basic transmission parameters (e.g. host-feeding preference, duration of the gonotrophic cycle, changed breeding behavior, larval development time). The link between habitat change and adaptions of the vector and associated pathogens are essential to understand the emergence of viruses transmitted between humans and wildlife.

All Publications

Laborgruppe Jöst

Phlebotomine sand flies in Southwest Germany: an update with records in new locations
Oerther S, Jöst H, Heitmann A, Lühken R, Krüger A, Steinhausen I, Brinker C, Lorentz S, Marx M, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Naucke T, Becker N
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Apr 21;13(1):173

Blood-meal analysis of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) reveals a broad host range and new species records for Romania
Tomazatos A, Jöst H, Schulze J, Spînu M, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Cadar D, Lühken R
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Feb 17;13(1):79

Laborgruppe Jöst

Ecology of West Nile Virus in the Danube Delta, Romania: Phylogeography, Xenosurveillance and Mosquito Host-Feeding Patterns
Tomazatos A, Jansen S, Pfister S, Török E, Maranda I, Horváth C, Keresztes L, Spînu M, Tannich E, Jöst H, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Cadar D, Lühken R
Viruses. 2019 Dec 14;11(12):1159

Laborgruppe Jöst

Experimental transmission of Zika virus by Aedes japonicus japonicus from southwestern Germany
Jansen S, Heitmann A, Lühken R, Jöst H, Helms M, Vapalahti O, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Tannich E
Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Nov 28;7(1):192

Circulation of Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, Romania
Tomazatos A, Cadar D, Török E, Maranda I, Horváth C, Keresztes L, Spinu M, Jansen S, Jöst H, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Tannich E, Lühken R
Parasit Vectors. 2018 Jul 4;11(1):392

Laborgruppe Jöst

Distribution of Usutu Virus in Germany and Its Effect on Breeding Bird Populations
Lühken R, Jöst H, Cadar D, Thomas SM, Bosch S, Tannich E, Becker N, Ziegler U, Lachmann L, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Dec;23(12):1994-2001

Detection and characterization of a novel rhabdovirus in Aedes cantans mosquitoes and evidence for a mosquito-associated new genus in the family Rhabdoviridae
Shahhosseini N, Lühken R, Jöst H, Jansen S, Börstler J, Rieger T, Krüger A, Yadouleton A, de Mendonça Campos R, Cirne-Santos CC, Ferreira DF, Garms R, Becker N, Tannich E, Cadar D, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Infect Genet Evol. 2017 Sep 21;55:260-268

Blood donor screening for West Nile virus (WNV) revealed acute Usutu virus (USUV) infection, Germany, September 2016
Cadar D, Maier P, Müller S, Kress J, Chudy M, Bialonski A, Schlaphof A, Jansen S, Jöst H, Tannich E, Runkel S, Hitzler WE, Hutschenreuter G, Wessiepe M, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Euro Surveill. 2017 Apr 6;22(14):30501

Laborgruppe Jöst

Host-feeding patterns of mosquito species in Germany
Borstler J, Jost H, Garms R, Kruger A, Tannich E, Becker N, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Luhken R
Parasit Vectors 2016, 9:318

Reconstruction of the Evolutionary History and Dispersal of Usutu Virus, a Neglected Emerging Arbovirus in Europe and Africa
Engel D, Jöst H, Wink M, Börstler J, Bosch S, Garigliany MM, Jöst A, Czajka C, Lühken R, Ziegler U, Groschup MH, Pfeffer M, Becker N, Cadar D, Schmidt-Chanasit J
MBio 2016, 7:e01938-01915

Pilot longitudinal mosquito surveillance study in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve and the first reports of Anopheles algeriensis
Török E, Tomazatos A, Cadar D, Horváth C, Keresztes L, Jansen S, Becker N, Kaiser A, Popescu O, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Jöst H, Lühken R.
Parasit Vectors. 2016 Apr 11;9:196

Laborgruppe Boyle

Insecticide resistance status in Culex quinquefasciatus in Benin
Yadouleton A, Badirou K, Agbanrin R, Jöst H, Attolou R, Srinivasan R, Padonou G, Akogbeto M
Parasit Vectors 2015, 8:17

Mammalophilic feeding behaviour of Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes collected in the cities of Chetumal and Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Janssen N, Fernandez-Salas I, Diaz Gonzalez EE, Gaytan-Burns A, Medina-de la Garza CE, Sanchez-Casas RM, Borstler J, Cadar D, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Jost H
Trop Med Int Health 2015, 20:1488-1491

Putative Lineage of Novel African Usutu Virus, Central Europe
Cadar D, Bosch S, Jost H, Borstler J, Garigliany MM, Becker N, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Emerg Infect Dis 2015, 21:1647-1650

Epidemic Spread of Usutu Virus in Southwest Germany in 2011 to 2013 and Monitoring of Wild Birds for Usutu and West Nile Viruses
Ziegler U, Jöst H, Müller K, Fischer D, Rinder M, Tietze DT, Danner KJ, Becker N, Skuballa J, Hamann HP, Bosch S, Fast C, Eiden M, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Groschup MH
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2015, 15:481-488

Surveillance of Batai virus in bovines from Germany
Hofmann M, Wiethölter A, Blaha I, Jöst H, Heinemann P, Lehmann M, Miller T, Cadar D, Yanase T, Kley N, Eiden M, Groschup M, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Clin Vaccine Immunol 2015, 22:672-673

Laborgruppe Jöst

Stable Transmission of Dirofilaria repens Nematodes, Northern Germany
Czajka C, Becker N, Jöst H, Poppert S, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Krüger A, Tannich E
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2014 Feb;20 (2)

Usutu virus in bats, Germany, 2013
Cadar D, Becker N, Campos Rde M, Börstler J, Jöst H, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Oct;20(10):1771-3

Isolation of sindbis virus from a hooded crow in Germany
Eiden M, Ziegler U, Keller M, Müller K, Granzow H, Jöst H, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Groschup MH
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. (2014): 14(3):220-2

Characterization of a novel circo-like virus in Aedes vexans mosquitoes from Germany: evidence for a new genus within the Circoviridae family
Garigliany MM, Borstler J, Jöst H, Badusche M, Desmecht D, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Cadar D
J Gen Virol (2014):915-9202014

Cyclovirus CyCV-VN species distribution is not limited to Vietnam and extends to Africa
Garigliany MM, Hagen RM, Frickmann H, May J, Schwarz NG, Perse A, Jöst H, Börstler J, Shahhosseini N, Desmecht D, Mbunkah HA, Daniel AM, Kingsley MT, Campos Rde M, de Paula VS, Randriamampionona N, Poppert S, Tannich E, Rakotozandrindrainy R, Cadar D, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Sci Rep 2014, 4:7552

Laborgruppe Jöst

First nationwide surveillance of Culex pipiens complex and Culex torrentium mosquitoes demonstrated the presence of Culex pipiens biotype pipiens / molestus hybrids in Germany
Rudolf M, Czajka C, Börstler J, Melaun C, Jöst H, von Thien H, Badusche M, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Krüger A, Tannich E, Müller S
PLoS One 8 (2013): e71832

European Surveillance for West Nile Virus in Mosquito Populations
Engler O, Savini G, Papa A, Figuerola J, Groschup M, Kampen H, Medlock J, Vaux A, Wilson A, Werner D, Jöst H, Goffredo M, Capelli G, Federici V, Tonolla M, Patocchi N, Flacio E, Portmann J, Rossi-Pedruzzi A, Mourelatos S, Ruiz S, Vázquez A, Calzolari M, Bonilauri P, Dottori M, Schaffner F, Mathis A and Johnson N.
Res. Public Health (2013), 10(10), 4869-4895

Laborgruppe Jöst

Epizootic emergence of Usutu virus in wild and captive birds in Germany
Becker N, Jöst H, Ziegler U, Eiden M, Höper D, Emmerich P, Fichet-Calvet E, Ehichioya DU, Czajka C, Gabriel M, Hoffmann B, Beer M, Tenner-Racz K, Racz P, Günther S, Wink M, Bosch S, Konrad A, Pfeffer M, Groschup MH, Schmidt-Chanasit J
PLoS One 7 (2012) e32604

Detection of Usutu virus infection in a healthy blood donor from south-west Germany, 2012
Allering L, Jöst H, Emmerich P, Günther S, Lattwein E, Schmidt M, Seifried E, Sambri V, Hourfar K, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Euro Surveill 17 (2012) pii: 20341

Molecular detection of Setaria tundra (Nematoda: Filarioidea) and an unidentified filarial species in mosquitoes in Germany
Czajka C, Becker N, Poppert S, Jöst H, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Krueger A
Parasit Vectors 5 (2012) 14

Laborgruppe Jöst

Isolation and phylogenetic analysis of Batai virus, Germany
Jöst H, Bialonski A, Schmetz C, Günther S, Becker N, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Am J Trop Med Hyg 84 (2011) 241-243

Isolation of Usutu virus in Germany
Jöst H, Bialonski A, Maus D, Sambri V, Eiden M, Groschup MH, Günther S, Becker N, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Am J Trop Med Hyg 85 (2011) 551-553

Medical importance of Sindbis virus in south-west Germany
Jöst H, Bürck-Kammerer S, Hütter G, Lattwein E, Lederer S, Litzba N, Bock-Hensley O, Emmerich P, Günther S, Becker N, Niedrig M, Schmidt-Chanasit J
J Clin Virol 52 (2011) 278-279

Lack of evidence for the presence of Schmallenberg virus in mosquitoes in Germany, 2011
Wernike K, Jöst H, Becker N, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Beer M
Parasit Vectors 7.1 (2014), 402

Usutu-Virus verursacht Vogelsterben
Jöst H, Schmidt-Chanasit J, Bosch S, Becker N
Biol Unserer Zeit 41 (2011) 358-359

Laborgruppe Jöst

Isolation and phylogenetic analysis of Sindbis viruses from mosquitoes in Germany
Jöst H, Bialonski A, Storch V, Günther S, Becker N, Schmidt-Chanasit J
J Clin Microbiol 48 (2010) 1900-1903

Sindbis-Virus erstmals in Deutschland nachgewiesen
Jöst H, Becker N, Pfeffer M, Bock-Hensley O, Drosten C, Schmidt-Chanasit J
Epidemiologisches Bulletin 26 (2010) 245-247



[Category - for instance: Doctoral Thesis or Dipl. Thesis]


Dr. rer. nat. Hanna Jöst, PhD

Phone: +49 40 42818-862
Fax: +49 40 42818-400
E-Mail: joest@bnitm.de

Scientific Staff

Carine Tchibozo (Benin)
Gildas Hounkanrin (Benin)
Eric Agboli (Ghana) +49 40 42818-862