Vector-Borne Diseases: Understanding the Environmental, Human Health, and Ecological Connections—Workshop Summary (2008)
Vectors, transmitters of disease that carry pathogens from one source to another, are responsible for the spread of a variety of diseases including malaria, yellow fever, and trypanosomiasis. In the early 19th century, increased intervention and prevention strategies managed to effectively control vectors and lower disease; however, within the past few decades vector-borne diseases have reemerged and today almost half of the world's human population is infected with a vector-borne pathogen. Vector-borne diseases affect human, animal, and plant populations and have drastic impacts on the world's ecologies and economies. In June of 2007, the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine held a workshop to explore these impacts and explore response strategies. Participants discussed the biological and ecological context of vector-borne diseases; their health and economic impacts; emerging domestic and global diseases; public, animal, and plant health preparedness; prevention, control, and therapeutic measures; scientific and technological advances; and integration strategies to address current and future threats. Vector-Borne Diseases summarizes the presentations and discussions of this workshop.