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Introduction

Author(s) : S. Zientara, D.W. Verwoerd & P.-P. Pastoret

Summary :

Vector-borne diseases are a real public health and animal health problem. For example, between 50 and 100 million people worldwide are infected by the dengue virus every year (1). Malaria kills between one and two million people annually (1). To this tally we have to add the morbidity associated with other mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as chikungunya, Rift Valley fever or yellow fever, and those transmitted by ticks and fleas (2). Diseases of veterinary importance include bluetongue, which recently spread to southern and then to northern Europe (3), tick-transmitted diseases such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis and rickettsiosis, and diseases transmitted by flies, e.g. trypanosomosis, which is transmitted by the tsetse fly. The economic consequences can be severe for affected countries; for example, the European Commission has spent more than 200 million euros just on helping European Union Member States to finance monovalent vaccines against bluetongue virus serotype 8 (3).

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