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Vectors and Vector-borne Diseases

Disease Vectors: Invertebrates or non-human vertebrates which transmit infective organisms from one host to another.

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Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya (CHIKV) is a virus that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The resulting illness is also called chikungunya. Chikungunya outbreaks have been reported from India, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Travel and globalization increase the possibility of epidemic outbreaks in other regions around the globe, wherever the mosquitoes capable of transmitting CHIKV are found. The mosquito species Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are good vectors and well-established in Florida. In the event of an outbreak, mosquito control and public health agencies in Florida need knowledge of populations, where they are produced, and hot spots with large populations that could be easily targeted for control. Good sources of information about the disease in humans are FloridaHealth, CDC, and Medline Plus.

UF/IFAS Resources

Foodborne Illness

Foodborne disease caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. [NALT]

A foodborne disease (FBD) can be defined as a disease commonly transmitted through ingested food. FBDs comprise a broad group of illnesses, and may be caused by microbial pathogens, parasites, chemical contaminants and biotoxins. [AGROVOC]






The Tospovirus (family Bunyaviridae) genus of viruses causes diseases of significant economic impact in many crops worldwide. Tospoviruses have the ability to swap whole segments of their genome with other members of the genus, creating new virus isolates with different vectors and modified host ranges, both of which can result in new diseases. Presently, there are eight recognized species belonging to this genus, of which five have been previously reported in the United States (i.e., TCSV, TSWV, GRSV, INSV, and Iris yellow spot virus [IYSV]). Of these, all but IYSV have been previously reported in the state of Florida. More information about tospoviruses can be found in Tospoviruses (Family Bunyaviridae, Genus Tospovirus) ( -- from PP306, Tomato Chlorotic Spot Virus

West Nile Virus

West Nile encephalitis virus. Encephalitis caused by a virus of the Flaviviridae family. Causes West Nile fever, which is characterized by headache, fever, arthralgia, maculopapular rash, myalgia, lymphadenopathy and leukopenia. Transmitted and/or spread by mosquitoes from the genus Culex (family Culicidae).

Entry terms: Kunjin virus, West Nile flavivirus, WNV (West Nile virus), KUNV (Kunjin virus)



A Sand Fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) (Insecta: Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae)

IN1091/EENY 625 by Maria C. Carrasquilla and Phillip E. KaufmanAugust 26, 2021A UF/IFAS numbered Organism ID. in support of UF/IFAS Extension program: Integrated Pest Management

A Sand Fly, Lutzomyia shannoni Dyar (Insecta: Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotomine)

IN797/EENY 421 by Rajinder S. Mann, Philip E. Kaufman, and Jerry F. ButlerAugust 26, 2021A UF/IFAS numbered Organism ID. in support of UF/IFAS Extension program: Integrated Pest Management

Chagas Disease: A Review of Vector-Borne Transmission by Triatomine Bugs (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae)

IN1412/ENY2104by Bethany R. Eutsey, Cameron J. Jack, Shelley A. Whitehead, and Eva A. BucknerJuly 13, 2023Chagas disease is a potentially fatal, chronic disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite. It causes 6 to 8 million cases and 50,000 deaths each year. Humans and animals usually become infected with T. cruzi via triatomine bugs, also called kissing or conenose bugs, found only in the Americas. Disease transmitted by triatomine bugs generally occurs in rural areas of Mexico, Central America, and South America, but it is becoming more prevalent in non-endemic areas like the US as asymptomatic infected people move from rural to urban areas of Latin America and other regions.  In the US, approximately 300,000 people are currently infected with Chagas disease, 18,000 in Florida. Most if not all of them were infected elsewhere; local transmission of Chagas disease via triatomines in the US is rare. Awareness and understanding of Chagas disease are critical to detect and treat cases early. This publication is intended for anyone interested in learning more about Chagas disease.

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