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Florida Medical Entomology Lab

Editorial Team


Vector-Borne Rickettsia Pathogens

IN1418/ENY-2107by Yuexun Tian, Phillip E. Kaufman, and Cynthia C. LordApril 22, 2024The genus Rickettsia contains species that are important in human health as they cause several serious diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This publication summarizes the human-disease-causing pathogens in the genus Rickettsia in the United States and delivers general knowledge of their vectors and the diseases they cause. Prevention and management of disease-causing Rickettsia species, mainly for vector control agencies and entities, are also discussed. This publication is written for audiences of all ages and with any educational background and serves as a resource for public education.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

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.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

Rift Valley Fever Virus: A Zoonotic Vector-Borne Pathogen Affecting Human and Livestock Health

IN1403/ENY-2099by Abdullah A. Alomar, Lindsay P. Campbell, Derrick K. Mathias, and Nathan D. Burkett-CadenaJune 22, 2023This publication summarizes the available information about the distribution, vectors, vertebrate hosts, transmission cycles, epidemiology, and control of Rift Valley fever virus.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

A Concise Guide on the Bionomics and Key Morphological Characteristics for Identifying Aedes pertinax (Grabham, 1906) – a Mosquito Species from the Neotropics Expanding in Geographic Range

IN1405/ENY2100by Ana L. Romero-Weaver, Michael T. Riles, Kristin Sloyer, Yoosook Lee, Lindsay P. Campbell, and Bryan V. GiordanoJune 15, 2023Aedes pertinax is a non-invasive mosquito first described in Jamaica by Grabham in 1906. It is currently classified in the Protoculex Group. It was first identified in the U.S. in 2015; its current distribution is unknown because it is so difficult to differentiate it from other mosquito species that are morphologically similar. It has not been reported in association with humans or animal diseases, but Ae. Atlanticus, another mosquito in the Protoculex Group, is a vector of the Keystone virus and the West Nile virus, which have the potential to cause encephalitis and death. Moreover, Ae. serratus, once classified as synonym of Ae. pertinax, was reported infected with yellow fever in Brazil in 2008. Because Ae. pertinax may be a vector and because it has expanded its geographical range, it should be monitored closely. This publication provides a description of the species so that it can be identified and monitored.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

Culex coronator (Dyar & Knab) (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae)

IN1392/EENY-794by Sierra M. Schluep, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena, Derrick K. Mathias, and Eva A. BucknerMarch 28, 2023The Featured Creatures collection provides in-depth profiles of insects, nematodes, arachnids and other organisms relevant to Florida. These profiles are intended for the use of interested laypersons with some knowledge of biology as well as academic audiences.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises