Vector-borne pathogens and diseases                     (Other insects)

Other insect-borne diseases.

There are many insects that are the primary or intermediate hosts or carriers of human diseases. The insects of medical or veterinary concern are those that cause injury to humans and animals either directly, through bites and stings or indirectly by transmission. The most important diseases are:

Tick-borne encephalitis is caused by the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a member of the family Flaviviridae, The most important diseases are-European or Western tick-borne encephalitis virus, Siberian tick-borne encephalitis virus, and Far Eastern tick-borne encephalitis virus.

The viral hemorrhagic (or haemorrhagic) fevers (VHFs) are a diverse group of animal and human illnesses that may be caused by five distinct families of RNA viruses. The most important diseases are - Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus in Siberia, Kyasanur Forest disease in India, and Alkhurma virus in Saudi Arabia.

Tick-borne diseases:Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Major tick-borne diseases include: Lyme disease, and Typhus.

Lyme disease: is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Lyme disease has been reported most often in the northeastern United States, but it has been reported in all 50 states, as well as China, Europe, Japan, Australia, and parts of the former Soviet Union.

Typhus:  All forms of typhus fever are caused by tiny organisms called rickettsiae which are passed on to humans by various types of insects including lice (epidemic), fleas (endemic), mites (scrub), and ticks. Ricketsial illness exists worldwide.

Scrub typhus: is transmitted by some species of Trombiculid  mites "chiggers", particularly Leptotrombidium deliense, which are found in areas of heavy scrub vegetation. The bite of this mite leaves a characteristic black eschar that is useful to the doctor for making the diagnosis. Scrub typhus is most commonly found in the Asia-Pacific region.

Plague:  Rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis). Become infected by feeding on the blood of an infected rodent. The infection is then spread to humans by the bite of the rat flea. When the rodents die the fleas go in search of a new host. Plague epidemics have occurred in Africa, Asia, and South America but most human cases since the 1990s have occurred in Africa.

Onchocerciasis: (also known as River Blindness disease) is caused by the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted through the bite of infected black flies (Simulium) during the day. Nearly 99% of infected persons live in Africa; the remainder lives in Yemen and six countries in the Americas.

Leishmaniasis: is transmitted to humans by the bite of the sand fly (phlebotomus). The insect vector of leishmaniasis, the sandfly, is found throughout the world's inter-tropical and temperate regions. Leishmaniasis is found in some parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa (particularly in the tropical region and North Africa, with some cases elsewhere), and southern Europe. It is not found in Australia or the Pacific Islands.

Sleeping Sickness: Tsetse flies breed along side rivers and transmit the disease between wild animals, cattle and humans. It is also responsible for deaths amongst livestock and is therefore of economic significance. Sleeping Sickness is only found in Africa.

Chagas diseases:  Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite related to the African trypanosome that causes sleeping sickness. It is spread by the bite of reduvid bugs (Assassin Bugs or kissing bugs) and is one of the major health problems in South America. Due to immigration, the disease also affects people in the United States.


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