Vector-borne diseases

Rev Sci Tech. 2009 Aug;28(2):583-8. doi: 10.20506/rst.28.2.1904.


Vector-borne diseases have been the scourge of man and animals since the beginning of time. Historically, these are the diseases that caused the great plagues such as the 'Black Death' in Europe in the 14th Century and the epidemics of yellow fever that plagued the development of the New World. Others, such as Nagana, contributed to the lack of development in Africa for many years. At the turn of the 20th Century, vector-borne diseases were among the most serious public and animal health problems in the world. For the most part, these diseases were controlled by the middle of the 20th Century through the application of knowledge about their natural history along with the judicious use of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and other residual insecticides to interrupt the transmission cycle between arthropod and vertebrate host. However, this success initiated a period of complacency in the 1960s and 1970s, which resulted in the redirection of resources away from prevention and control of vector-borne diseases. The 1970s was also a time in which there were major changes to public health policy. Global trends, combined with changes in animal husbandry, urbanisation, modern transportation and globalisation, have resulted in a global re-emergence of epidemic vector-borne diseases affecting both humans and animals over the past 30 years.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections / transmission
  • Bacterial Infections / veterinary
  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / transmission
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / veterinary
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / veterinary*
  • Disease Vectors*
  • Education, Veterinary*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Insect Control
  • Parasitic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Parasitic Diseases / transmission
  • Public Health*
  • Tick Control
  • Zoonoses