Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The war between humans and insects predates recorded history. Not only have insects played an adversarial role in human development by destroying crops and killing livestock, they are also apt vectors for viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, which infect and cause illness in humans. Insect-borne diseases affect population rates, trade, travel, and productivity. While the true impact on the global economy is incalculable, the cost is most likely billions and billions of dollars annually. Insects are on every continent, and consequently so are the diseases they carry. The incidence rates of many insect-borne diseases have decreased due to improved public health initiatives undertaken by both governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Unfortunately, such efforts must confront the amazing adaptability of both insects and pathogens. The majority of insect-borne diseases are transmitted directly through a bite, which is the means by which the pathogen is transmitted to the host. However, this mode of ...