Mosquito bite

Vector-borne Disease Management and Control

As spring is quickly approaching, everyone must consider their options to prevent vector-borne diseases. This includes a control and management plan! Moreover, ranging from mosquito control to tick control.

Researcher, Dipika Doloi, conducted a study on specific biological control methods to determine management of disease. Find his published work in the International Journal of Mosquito Research, “A study on certain biological control methods to control and manage vector-borne diseases.”

Mosquito Bite
Photo Credit: CDC - Aedes albopictus mosquito

What are Vector-Borne Diseases?

You may wonder what exactly vector-borne diseases are. They are pathogens transmitted by vectors and in this case — mosquitoes, flies, ticks, etc. The pathogens may either be bacteria, parasites or viruses. Common vector-borne diseases most likely known: Malaria, Zika, Yellow Fever, West Nile and Lyme disease.

Now, how do these diseases transfer to humans? Interestingly, the pathogens  are either picked up by the vector (mosquito) via their feet or mouth, or ingested by the vector.

Below is a great table showing the different vectors and what diseases that might come about. 

Vector borne diseases
List of vector-borne diseases, their vector and types of pathogen - Dipika Doloi

Biological Control

Implementation of biological control and management will eliminate the threat of vector-borne diseases. Types of biological control may be a predator or pathogen that is specifically the enemy of the vector (ex: mosquito).

One great example stated in this article is fish. Certain fish feed on mosquito larvae, which is a great way to keep mosquitoes from water sources. Another example of biological control is the dragonfly or damselfly, as they are natural predators of mosquitoes.

Additionally, other factors can come in, such as utilizing a certain pathogen. As stated in the Dipika Doloi’s article, using a bacteria specific to mosquitoes, or other vector could decrease the population. The example given was, Wolbachia, a gram negative bacteria, which has the ability to change the biology of mosquitoes. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, biological control of vectors, including mosquitoes, is a safe, environmentally friendly way to reduce vector-borne diseases. This information should have everyone thinking whenever they do see dragonflies or fish — as they are helping get rid of the problem at hand.

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