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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #394498

Research Project: Control Strategies for Bovine Babesiosis

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: All for one health and one health for all: Considerations for successful citizen science projects conducting vector surveillance from animal hosts

item Poh, Karen
item EVANS, JESSE - Pennsylvania State University
item SKVARLA, MICHAEL - Pennsylvania State University
item MACHTINGER, ERIKA - Pennsylvania State University

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2022
Publication Date: 5/24/2022
Citation: Poh, K.C., Evans, J.R., Skvarla, M.J., Machtinger, E.T. 2022. All for one health and one health for all: Considerations for successful citizen science projects conducting vector surveillance from animal hosts. Insects. 13(6). Article 492.

Interpretive Summary: Vector-borne diseases are often zoonotic and so a One Health approach must be employed in order to investigate and control them. Therefore, surveillance of arthropod vectors and pathogens among animal populations should complement human disease surveillance. Since traditional surveillance methods to collect arthropod vectors and conduct pathogen testing from animals can be challenging, data collection can be supplemented with citizen science approaches, where the general public is actively involved in collecting animals and/or samples. In this review, we discuss considerations for researchers to create a successful vector surveillance program using citizen science approaches with different stakeholders who own, have interests in, or work with animals.

Technical Abstract: Many vector-borne diseases that affect humans are zoonotic, often involving some animal host amplifying the pathogen and infecting an arthropod vector, followed by pathogen spillover into the human population via the bite of the infected vector. As urbanization, globalization, travel, and trade continue to increase, so does the risk posed by vector-borne diseases and spillover events. With the introduction of new vectors and potential pathogens as well as range expansions of native vectors, it is vital to conduct vector and vector-borne disease surveillance. Traditional surveillance methods can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially when surveillance involves sampling from animals. In order to monitor for potential vector-borne disease threats, researchers have turned to the public to help with data collection. To address vector-borne disease and animal conservation needs, we conducted a literature review of studies from the United States and Canada utilizing citizen science efforts to collect arthropods of public health and veterinary interest from animals. We identified stakeholder groups that have previously participated in citizen science projects, the types of surveillance that are common with each group, and the literature gaps on understudied vectors and populations. From this review, we synthesized considerations for future research projects involving citizen scientist collection of arthropods that affect humans and animals.