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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biting Arthropods: Integrated Pest Management

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: Controlling vector-borne disease and adapting to climate change with novel research on disease forecasting to target new vector control materials and technologies

Author
item LINTHICUM, KENNETH

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2010
Publication Date: September 2, 2010
Citation: Linthicum, K. 2010. Controlling vector-borne disease and adapting to climate change with novel research on disease forecasting to target new vector control materials and technologies. In: M. Zaim, editor. Report of the Seventh Meeting of the Global Collaboration for Development of Pesticides for Public Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. p. 50-53.

Interpretive Summary: The US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology with numerous international collaborators, including the World Health Organization, exploits linkages between global climate, insects that transmit human and animal diseases, and disease outbreaks to develop novel disease forecasting models using data from earth-orbiting satellites that can effectively map locations at risk from disease. Risk maps are used to target the application of new insect control materials and strategies to control disease outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: Population growth, frontier agricultural expansion, and urbanization transform the landscape and the surrounding ecosystem, affecting climate and interactions between animals and humans, and significantly influencing the transmission dynamics and geographic distribution of malaria, dengue and other arboviruses, and tick-borne diseases. To detect and control these vector-borne diseases that ravage the world’s population the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (USDA-ARS CMAVE), the first national center for insect research and the largest entomology laboratory in the world, conducts real world problem-solving research and technology transfer aimed at reducing or eliminating the harm caused by insects to crops, stored products, livestock and humans. Tools are developed to effectively detect and respond to global emerging vector-borne diseases. CMAVE with numerous international collaborators, including the World Health Organization, exploit linkages between global climate, vectors, and vector-borne disease outbreaks to develop novel disease forecasting models using data from earth-orbiting satellites that can effectively map the spatial and temporal distribution of elevated vector populations, and potential for enhanced disease transmission. These maps can be used to target the application of new vector control materials and application technologies, and novel personal protective products. Models are described that have been used recently in the Horn of Africa to combat Rift Valley fever by targeting vector control, public education, quarantine, and vaccination programs. To enhance vector control novel applications of residual barrier treatments on native vegetation and artificial substrates in desert, tropical and sub-tropical habitats for control of mosquito and sand fly vectors of human disease are reported. Comparison of the efficacy of ultra-low volume and thermal fog applications with different mosquito adulticides in arid and temperate environments will be discussed. Additionally, novel candidate insect repellents and pesticide compounds that have been identified using very promising artificial neural network modeling in quantitative structure-activity relationship approaches will be described. Since the key to stopping vector-borne disease transmission is to prevent infected vectors from biting humans, some of our research is focused at examining the behavior and response to repellents and pesticides by vectors infected with human pathogens. Recent research suggests that many of the hemorrhagic/encephalitic human arboviruses alter vector response to the host and insect repellents, adding to the challenge of interrupting disease transmission.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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