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
Kara E. Rogers
Vector-borne diseases are caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites that are transmitted to humans by vectors. In most instances, vectors are bloodsucking invertebrates, usually arthropods such as ticks, mosquitoes, or flies, although vertebrates, including rodents, raccoons, and dogs, can also be vectors of human disease. Infectious agents are most often transmitted by the bite, sting, or touch of a vector, although ingesting or handling the feces of an infected animal can also result in disease transmission. Vector-borne diseases are most common in tropical and subtropical regions where optimal temperatures and moisture levels promote the reproduction of arthropods, especially mosquitoes. Diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, sleeping sickness, and encephalitis have occurred and, in some instances, are still present at endemic or epidemic levels. Reemergence of vector-borne disease is a constant concern due to the rapid rate at which they are capable of spreading. These diseases have ...