Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Towards an integrated approach in surveillance of vector-borne diseases in Europe

Marieta Braks1*, Joke van der Giessen1, Mirjam Kretzschmar26, Wifrid van Pelt2, Ernst-Jan Scholte3, Chantal Reusken4, Hervé Zeller5, Wim van Bortel5 and Hein Sprong1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven, the Netherlands

2 Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven, the Netherlands

3 National Centre for Monitoring of Vectors (CMV), New Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (nVWA), Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Wageningen, the Netherlands

4 Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9, P.O. Box 1, Bilthoven, the Netherlands

5 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden

6 Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Parasites & Vectors 2011, 4:192  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-192

Published: 3 October 2011

Abstract

Vector borne disease (VBD) emergence is a complex and dynamic process. Interactions between multiple disciplines and responsible health and environmental authorities are often needed for an effective early warning, surveillance and control of vectors and the diseases they transmit. To fully appreciate this complexity, integrated knowledge about the human and the vector population is desirable. In the current paper, important parameters and terms of both public health and medical entomology are defined in order to establish a common language that facilitates collaboration between the two disciplines. Special focus is put on the different VBD contexts with respect to the current presence or absence of the disease, the pathogen and the vector in a given location. Depending on the context, whether a VBD is endemic or not, surveillance activities are required to assess disease burden or threat, respectively. Following a decision for action, surveillance activities continue to assess trends.

Keywords:
Vector borne disease; surveillance; public health; ECDC