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A review of trends in the distribution of vector-borne diseases: is international trade contributing to their spread?

Author(s) : S. de La Rocque et al.

Summary :

It is difficult to determine the part that international trade has played in the expansion of vector-borne diseases, because of the multitude of factors that affect the transformation of habitats and the interfaces between vectors and hosts. The introduction of pathogens through trade in live animals or products of animal origin, as well as the arrival of arthropod vectors, is probably quite frequent but the establishment of an efficient transmission system that develops into a disease outbreak remains the exception. In this paper, based on well-documented examples, the authors review the ecological and epidemiological characteristics of vector-borne diseases that may have been affected in their spread and change of distribution by international trade. In addition, they provide a detailed analysis of the risks associated with specific trade routes and recent expansions of vector populations. Finally, the authors highlight the importance, as well as the challenges, of preventive surveillance and regulation. The need for improved monitoring of vector populations and a readiness to face unpredictable epidemiological events are also emphasised, since this will require rapid reaction, not least in the regulatory context.
Animal – Animal product – Epidemiology – Risk – Spread – Trade – Vector-borne disease.

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