Ecology and control of vector-borne diseases


In the past century, many advances were made in the control of vector-borne diseases. Malaria disappeared from the northern hemisphere, diseases such as typhus, Bartonella and yellow fever were seriously reduced in prevalence and in many countries effective methods of disease control contributed to a greatly reduced incidence of such diseases. Most of these advances were beneficial to the industrialized world, whereas underdeveloped countries continued to suffer much as before. Indeed, several diseases such as malaria, Rift Valley fever and African sleeping sickness are still highly prevalent in specific countries. “New” vector-borne diseases, dengue and West Nile fever, have emerged and are invading previously disease-free regions. The discovery of new drugs and vaccines has made great advances and allows for the effective treatment and control of many diseases. In contrast, vector control has lagged behind in development, even though it is realized that effective vector control would allow for an immediate interruption of the transmission of disease, and aid in disease control and eradication. In the last 20 years new initiatives on vector control have been undertaken, leading to a rapid development of effective and lasting methods of vector control. The development of molecular genetics has provided new insight in vector biology and behaviour, which is being used for developing new strategies of vector control. Advances in geographic information systems allow for precision targeting of interventions. The collective information on new developments in Vector Ecology and Control of Vector-borne Diseases is scattered over numerous periodicals and electronic databases. This book series intends to bring together this information in volumes arranged around selected themes that are currently of interest. Forthcoming themes will include “Emerging pests and vector-borne diseases in Europe”, “Surveillance methods of vectors of infectious diseases”, “Mating behaviour of disease vectors”, “Recent advances in biological control of mosquitoes”. Other topics will be added as perceived relevant.