Issue compiled and edited by Paul Parham, Joanna Waldock, George Christophides and Edwin Michael
Vector-borne diseases (VBDs), such as malaria, Chagas disease and helminth infections, have a huge impact on human health in the developing world, while emerging and resurgent diseases, such as dengue, West Nile disease and chikungunya, are also increasing in prevalence and distribution. The spread of disease vectors into temperate regions (including Europe) will cause significant public health issues if disease importation occurs. Developing new tools to better map vectors and disease, assess risk and plan public health interventions is therefore extremely important for tackling these diseases.
In this issue, we report the latest findings on how a range of epidemiological, environmental and socioeconomic factors are likely to govern the future impact of VBDs and assess the challenges in disentangling these factors. Key results include the importance of biodiversity and evolution in emerging VBDs, evidence for the link between climate warming and tick-borne diseases, the need to strengthen global efforts to reduce VBD burden, the importance of climate on future cost-effectiveness of current interventions against malaria, predicted shifts in the distribution of mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya, projected changes in onchocerciasis cases in certain regions of Africa, and the importance of modelling in guiding future public health policy decisions.
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