Vector Borne Disease

This project addresses issues of critical importance to management of vector-borne disease (VBD) in the United States, including those caused by viruses transmitted by mosquitoes (Zika, West Nile) as well as tick-borne pathogens like Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease) and Rickettsia rickettsia (Rocky Mountain Spotted fever). Because the Midwest is a national hotspot for disease emergence and endemic transmission of VBD, we will establish The Upper Midwestern Center of Excellence in Vector-borne Disease, a truly regional center covering Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Iowa. Center activities will focus the efforts of a formidable group of nationally-recognized public health entomologists, epidemiologists, virologists, public health experts, and vector control staff to improve outbreak and emergent disease management as well as current surveillance and control practices. The goals include development of systems and processes for sharing information between federal, state and local public health, vector control operations and academic partners, developing and increasing access to training opportunities for current vector control professionals, testing and improving the evidence base for current methods of vector management, and bringing innovative research in health information systems, optimization science, and diagnostic development to bear on these issues. Results and conclusions will be directly relevant to both the major VBD issues of the region as well as broadly applicable to public health entomology in the United States.