Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 2877–2893 | Cite as

Bioeconomic management of invasive vector-borne diseases

  • Eli P. FenichelEmail author
  • Richard D. Horan
  • Graham J. Hickling
Original Paper


Invasive insects, arthropods, and other invertebrates are of concern due to the role some play in introducing and transmitting pathogens via a pathogen–vector relationship. Indeed, vector-borne diseases represent a significant portion of emerging diseases. We compare and contrast three strategic approaches to managing a vector-borne pathogen: conventional strategies based on disease ecology without regard to economic tradeoffs and cost-effective strategies based on a bioeconomic framework. Conventional strategies entail managing the vector population below a threshold value based on R 0—the basic reproductive ratio of the pathogen, which measures a pathogen’s ability to invade uninfected systems. This does not account for post-infection dynamics, nor does it balance ecological and economic tradeoffs. Thresholds take on a more profound role under a bioeconomic paradigm: rather than unilaterally determining vector control choices, thresholds inform control choices and are influenced by them. Simulation results show cost-effective strategies can lower overall program costs and may be less sensitive to parameter estimation.


Bioeconomics Decision theory Disease ecology Host-density thresholds Vector-borne pathogen system, 



The authors gratefully acknowledge funding provided by the Economic Research Service-USDA cooperative agreement number 58-7000-6-0084 through ERS’ Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM), and by NRI, USDA, CSREES, grant #2006-55204-17459. This work was conducted as part of the SPIDER working group at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture through NSF Award #EF-0932858, with additional support from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The views expressed here are the authors and should not be attributed to ERS, USDA, or NIMBioS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eli P. Fenichel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard D. Horan
    • 2
  • Graham J. Hickling
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Life Science and ecoSERVICES groupArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Agriculture HallMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.The Center for Wildlife Health/NIMBioS, The National Institute For Mathematical and Biological SynthesisUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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