Using geographic information systems and decision support systems for the prediction, prevention, and control of vector-borne diseases

Annu Rev Entomol. 2011:56:41-61. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120709-144847.


Emerging and resurging vector-borne diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality, especially in the developing world. We focus on how advances in mapping, Geographic Information System, and Decision Support System technologies, and progress in spatial and space-time modeling, can be harnessed to prevent and control these diseases. Major themes, which are addressed using examples from tick-borne Lyme borreliosis; flea-borne plague; and mosquito-borne dengue, malaria, and West Nile virus disease, include (a) selection of spatial and space-time modeling techniques, (b) importance of using high-quality and biologically or epidemiologically relevant data, (c) incorporation of new technologies into operational vector and disease control programs, (d) transfer of map-based information to stakeholders, and (e) adaptation of technology solutions for use in resource-poor environments. We see great potential for the use of new technologies and approaches to more effectively target limited surveillance, prevention, and control resources and to reduce vector-borne and other infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / transmission*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Disease Vectors*
  • Humans