Emerging infectious diseases such as Zika virus are expanding their ranges, and the Caribbean has recently been experiencing an explosion in cases of Zika virus infection. Due to the lack of treatment options for Zika, there is a need to monitor areas where transmission is occurring to improve risk communications and force health protection recommendations. Although Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are considered the primary vectors of Zika, it is possible that other mosquitoes, especially in a new niche, may play a role in Zika transmission. Visit this project page to learn more about this project and to view collection results to date.
This study addresses gaps in knowledge of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus distributions, infection rates, and host biting preferences and their impact on transmission of chikungunya (CHIKV) and dengue in rural and urban areas at select sites in the SOUTHCOM AOR. These data will provide information for operational planning of military missions in SOUTHCOM and help assess the potential for the emergence of CHIKV and dengue in the U.S.
Mosquito trap data at the US Army Public Health Command Region-West (APHCR-W) dates from 1947, making this one of the longest running mosquito surveillance programs in the world, and providing a unique resource for understanding changes in mosquito occurrence and abundance in the United States. Georeferencing, which allows collection locations to be mapped for spatial analyses, was undertaken by VectorMap, resulting in over 100,000 mapped records mainly from US Department of Defense (DoD) facilities in the western United States. More information.
For the first time, a comprehensive map of human scrub typhus cases has been established, via the VectorMap data portal. Scrub typhus is an acute chigger-borne febrile disease that is endemic in the Asia-Pacific area, and was responsible for thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths in soldiers during World War II. To date the endemic focus of scrub typhus has been poorly defined, but investigators have used literature reports to map probable and confirmed human cases via the Mite map service within VectorMap. These data will facilitate patient diagnosis by making the clinician more aware of the threat in the immediate area where patients seek treatment. More information.
The Department of Defense Human Tick Test Kit (HTTK) is a free tick identification and pathogen testing service provided by the U.S. Army Public Health Command (USAPHC). Ticks collected in the continental U.S. by military personnel, military dependents and DOD civilian employees are submitted via the HTTK for identification and pathogen screening by the Tick-Borne Disease Laboratory of the Entomological Sciences Program of the USAPHC. Collection locations and pathogen screening results are databased and used to inform tick-borne disease risk assessment for DoD personnel and their families within the U.S. To date, there are 24,165 tick records mapped in VectorMap from the HTTK. More information.
We have formed an Entomological Surveillance Working Group (ESWG) to better coordinate, standardize and synergize our respective biosurveillance efforts to maximize the usefulness of entomological and associated pathogen screening information for our military partners. WRBU has also volunteering to help establish a mosquito, sand fly and tick voucher specimen repository as part of the Smithsonian / WRBU national arthropod and frozen DNA collections.
With the spread of the Zika virus we have responded by gathering information from VectorMap about the distribution of the primary vectors, Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus to assist in understanding the potential vector hazard. Zika along with Chikungunya and Dengue share vectors, so the information about Zika presented here will be useful for understanding the distribution of all of these mosquito-borne pathogens.