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Epidemiological surveillance methods for vector-borne diseases

Author(s) : P.N. Thompson & E. Etter

Summary :

Compared with many other diseases, the ever-increasing threat of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) represents a great challenge to public and animal health managers. Complex life cycles, changing distribution ranges, a variety of potential vectors and hosts, and the possible role of reservoirs make surveillance for VBDs a grave concern in a changing environment with increasing economic constraints. Surveillance activities may have various specific objectives and may focus on clinical disease, pathogens, vectors, hosts and/or reservoirs, but ultimately such activities should improve our ability to predict, prevent and/or control the diseases concerned. This paper briefly reviews existing and newly developed tools for the surveillance of VBDs. A range of examples, by no means exhaustive, illustrates that VBD surveillance usually involves a combination of methods to achieve its aims, and is best accomplished when these techniques are adapted to the specific environment and constraints of the region.


Epidemiology – Risk-based surveillance – Sentinel surveillance – Syndromic surveillance – Vector-borne disease.

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