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Research Project: Headquarters Cooperative Programs - Animal Production and Protection (APP)

Location: Animal Production and Protection

Title: The Contributions and Achievements of the USDA/ARS National Program 104: Veterinary, Medical, and Urban Entomology

item Bernier, Ulrich

Submitted to: International Forum for Surveillance and Control of Mosquitoes and Vector-borne Diseases (IFSCMVD)
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Damage and disease associated with biting and stinging arthropods affect humans and livestock in the United States and around the world. Economic losses from arthropod damage, including crop losses, exceed one hundred billion dollars annually. Human globalization, international trade, local movement, and altered ecosystems facilitate the introduction of new disease vectors and pathogens into the United States, promote new parasitic arthropod-wildlife-livestock interactions, enable atypical arthropod vector-host-pathogen interactions, and expose humans to new vectors and pathogens. Security challenges resulting from a globalized economy include preventing the introduction of exotic pest species and pathogens that damage humans, plants, animals, and infrastructure. In recent years, new mosquito-borne pathogens, i.e., Chikungunya and Zika viruses, were introduced into the United States. The New World Screwworm, a pest completely eradicated from the United States by 1985, was rediscovered in the Florida Keys in 2016; by April 2017, ARS and USDA-APHIS had successfully eradicated this pest from the United States once again. In 2017, the invasive East Asian tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) was discovered in New Jersey and has since been found in eight other states; studying archived samples, scientists determined the tick entered the United States before August 31, 2010. The invasive red imported fire ant was introduced into the United States in the 1930s, but the rate at which its U.S. range was expanding declined over the past few decades. However, within the last 12 years it has been detected in Australia, Taiwan, and mainland China and several port introductions were recently found in Japan and South Korea. These are just a few examples of how globalization facilitates the spread of arthropods and the diseases they transmit. These introductions and reintroductions reinforce the need for new and improved strategies and tools to detect, survey, control, and monitor arthropod pests to protect against diseases and other harmful damage. The mission of National Program (NP) 104, Veterinary, Medical, and Urban Entomology, is to eliminate arthropod vectors and the diseases that they transmit to livestock, humans, and other animals and to nullify their economic impact. To achieve this mission, translational, fundamental and applied research is conducted on arthropods of veterinary, medical, and urban importance, such as ticks, mosquitoes, sand flies, stable flies, biting midges, and bed bugs. Non-biting flies such as house flies, filth flies, and New World screwworms are also the targets of this research effort as are invasive ants. The research that is conducted on these target pests lead to improved integrated vector management strategies.