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Shifting priorities in vector biology to improve control of vector-borne disease.

Lambrechts, Louis; Knox, Tessa B; Wong, Jacklyn; Liebman, Kelly A; Albright, Rebecca G; Stoddard, Steven T.
Trop Med Int Health; 14(12): 1505-14, 2009 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Out 2009 | ID: mdl-19807899
Resumo: Vector control remains the primary measure available to prevent pathogen transmission for the most devastating vector-borne diseases (VBDs): malaria, dengue, trypanosomiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease. Current control strategies, however, are proving insufficient and the remarkable advances in the molecular biology of disease vectors over the last two decades have yet to result in tangible tools that effectively reduce VBD incidence. Here we argue that vector biologists must fundamentally shift their approach to VBD research. We propose an agenda highlighting the most critical avenues to improve the effectiveness of vector control. Research priorities must be diversified to support simultaneous development of multiple, alternative control strategies. Knowledge across relevant diseases and disciplines should be better integrated and disease prevention efforts extended beyond the academic sector to involve private industry, ministries of health, and local communities. To obtain information of more immediate significance to public health, the research focus must shift from laboratory models to natural pathogen-transmission systems. Identification and characterization of heterogeneities inherent to VBD systems should be prioritized to allow development of local, adaptive control strategies that efficiently make use of limited resources. Importantly, increased involvement of disease-endemic country (DEC) scientists, institutes, and communities will be key to enhance and sustain the fight against VBD.