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Vector-Borne Diseases of Public Health Importance Dawn M. Wesson Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Presentation on theme: "Vector-Borne Diseases of Public Health Importance Dawn M. Wesson Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vector-Borne Diseases of Public Health Importance Dawn M. Wesson Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana

2 Definition of Vector-Borne: A biological association between an arthropod (insect or arachnid) and a pathogen acquired by feeding on the blood of an infected vertebrate host Pathogen acquisition by the arthropod may also be through transovarial or venereal transmission

3 Overview Mosquito transmitted pathogens Viruses Malaria Flea transmitted pathogens Plague Other rare insect transmitted pathogens present in the United States

4 Mosquito Transmitted Pathogens Arboviruses (ARthropod-BOrne VIRUSES) West Nile virus (WNV) St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLE) California group viruses (CE & LACV) Western equine encephalitis virus (WEE) Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) Dengue virus (DEN)

5 Generalities About Arboviruses Seasonal – most cases occur in warm months Incidence varies with time and place because ecological factors are important For each of these viruses, the ratio of clinical to subclinical infection varies (number of detected cases versus number actually infected) With the exception of dengue virus, humans are not important for virus survival


7 West Nile Virus (WNV) The most common mosquito transmitted arbovirus causing human disease in the US Discovered in New York City in 1999 and has since spread to every state in the continental US and most other countries south of Canada Basic cycle: bird to mosquito (but recent work suggests eastern chipmunks could also be involved) Bird deaths (>300 spp.) associated with infection

8 West Nile Virus Most human infection occurs by mosquito bite, July – Oct. (longer season further south) Blood transfusion, infected tissue donation, placental, and accidental laboratory infections have also been documented 80% of all human infections show no symptoms – of the symptomatic 20%, most go on to develop West Nile fever

9 West Nile Virus After bite of infected mosquito, it takes 2-14 days for symptoms to occur Characteristics of WN Fever - fever, headache, fatigue and sometimes rash, swollen lymph glands and/or eye pain Severe disease occurs in up to 1% of infected individuals - meningitis and/or encephalitis and/or sometimes paralysis Approximately 10% severe cases die

10 4269 cases (incl. severe and mild) 177 deaths 2006 WNV in the United States

11 1999 WNV Incidence in the US 2000 WNV Incidence in the US 2001 WNV Incidence in the US 2002 WNV Incidence in the US 2003 WNV Incidence in the US 2004 WNV Incidence in the US 2005 WNV Incidence in the US 2006 WNV Incidence in the US

12 Summary of WNV Severe Disease Cases and Deaths

13 Primary WNV Vectors Northeastern and northcentral US – Culex p. pipiens Southeastern US – Culex p. quinquefasciatus and Cx. nigripalpus Southcentral US - Culex p. quinquefasciatus and Cx. salinarius Mountain west and western US – Culex tarsalis and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus

14 Locally Important or Secondary WNV Vectors Aedes vexans Aedes albopictus and Ae. aegypti Aedes triseriatus Aedes japonicus (newly introduced) Species of Coquillettidia, Culiseta, and Psorophora Other Culex and Aedes spp.

15 West Nile Virus Severe Disease Risk Factors Exposure to infected mosquitoes when > 50 years of age (most fatalities > 75 years) Culex spp. mosquitoes - but over 60 mosquito spp. have been found naturally infected Recreational and/or occupational exposure in urban or rural setting Primary and secondary vectors can vary locally and regionally, so understanding local transmission is crucial!

16 St. Louis Encephalitis Virus Distribution similar to WNV in New World only Bird – mosquito cycle; similar primary mosquito vectors (Culex spp.) and transmission season to WNV But no extensive secondary vectors like WNV – drought associated epidemic transmission Most similar to WNV in urban situations – sparrows and other peridomestic birds important for amplifying virus


18 SLE Symptoms and Risks 0 – 3,000 cases/year (1975), but usually smaller outbreaks; average of ~ 130 cases/yr Most infections asymptomatic or mild, with 3- 30% case fatality ratio Severe disease – meningitis, encephalitis, coma, death Similar risk to WNV – increasing age, outdoor exposure in urban or periurban areas

19 La Crosse (California Group) Encephalitis Distribution in Eastern US and Canada Aedes triseriatus mosquito and chipmunk/ squirrel transmission cycle Vectors are woodland/suburban container inhabiting species Likely secondary or locally important vectors are Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus


21 LACV Symptoms and Risk Approximately 70 cases/year Most infections asymptomatic or mild, with <1% case fatality ratio Severe disease – encephalitis, seizure, coma, sequelae are common Children <16 years - most severe disease Woodland areas with containers (natural or manmade); rural poor

22 Western Equine Encephalitis Virus Distribution in Western US, Canada, Central and South America Culex tarsalis – bird transmission cycle Vector tends to be associated with irrigation or other farming practices Rural or periurban transmission most common Also infects horses – 50% mortality in unvaccinated animals


24 WEE Symptoms and Risk 639 confirmed cases since 1964, but less than 1-2/year in past 10 years ~ 13% of infections show disease (30% of infants) with 3% case fatality ratio Severe disease - encephalitis, coma, death; seizures common in infants Rural areas where the vector is common

25 Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Distribution in the Eastern US, Canada to Central and South America Bird – mosquito cycle maintained by bird feeding mosquito, Culiseta melanura in swamp/wetland areas Transmission to humans and horses by “bridge” vectors, Aedes, Culex and Coquillettidia spp. High equine mortality if unvaccinated


27 EEE Symptoms and Risk 220 cases confirmed since 1964, with ~ 5 cases/yr Rare, but 30% mortality rate Severe disease (encephalitis, coma, death) most common in 50 years 50% of severe disease survivors have permanent neurological damage Risk assoc. with age and residence near endemic areas

28 Dengue Virus Distribution worldwide (50-100 million cases with ~200,000 severe) – not currently common in US Human – mosquito transmission, Aedes aegypti vector Vector develops in containers and feeds during the daytime near homes Typically urban transmission in overpopulated tropical/subtropical areas


30 DEN Symptoms and Risk There are 4 serotypes (DEN 1-4) and all can cause classical dengue (sudden fever, headache, severe aches and rash) known as “breakbone fever” Following sequential infection with different serotypes, severe hemorrhagic manifestations known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) can result Risk highest for <15 years

31 Recent Dengue in the US Texas – endemic transmission 6 times between 1980 and 2004 First local DHF case in south Texas in 2005 and studies show undetected local DEN Hawaii – 88 cases in 2001-02 (Aedes albopictus vector) Low but increasing risk for local transmission, since 1977, ~ 4000 cases imported to US (100-200 cases/year)

32 Dengue Risk Areas in the southern and southeastern US where both one or both vectors are present (especially Aedes aegypti) are at risk for sporadic outbreaks Increased influx of residents from dengue endemic regions outside the US (as currently occurs in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina) further adds to the risk of introduction and local transmission

33 Malaria Distribution worldwide in tropics and subtropics (700,000-2.7 million deaths annually – 75% in African children) Protozoan parasites (4 Plasmodium spp.) transmitted from human to human by Anopheles spp. mosquitoes 41% of the world’s population lives in malarious areas – so risk of importation to US from endemic areas is constant


35 Anopheles mosquito feeding - sporozoite release Mosquito host Human host Anopheles mosquito feeding - gametocyte acquisition Merogony Gametogony Sporogony

36 Malaria in the US 1,337 cases of malaria with 8 deaths, were reported in the US in 2002 5 of those cases were locally acquired Between 1957 and 2003, 63 outbreaks of locally transmitted malaria have occurred Two species of Anopheles mosquitoes have been implicated

37 Malaria Symptoms and Risk Classic symptoms: fever, chills, sweating, headaches, muscle pains Severe symptoms: cerebral malaria, anemia, kidney failure Plasmodium falciparum causes most severe disease and death Night time biting mosquitoes in rural areas of eastern US and California

38 Plague Distribution is worldwide; endemic in western US Caused by Yersinia pestis, a bacterium Transmission is flea – rodent cycle, but humans and other animals may act as hosts and be involved in transmission In US, basic rural cycle is wild rodents, especially rock squirrels, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, other burrowing rodents and their associated fleas


40 Engorged Xenopsylla cheopis (Oriental Rat Flea) In the U.S., 1 to 40 cases reported annually (avg = 13 cases) by western states, 1971-1995

41 Plague Symptoms Bubonic plague: enlarged, tender lymph nodes, fever, chills and prostration Septicemic plague: fever, chills, prostration, abdominal pain, shock and bleeding into skin and other organs Pneumonic plague: fever, chills, cough and difficulty breathing; rapid shock and death if not treated early

42 Source: Dennis DT. 1998. Plague as an emerging disease. Emerging Infections 2. Scheld WM, Craig WA and Hughes JM, Eds. ASM Press, Washington DC.

43 Plague Risk Transmission occurs by flea bite, by direct contact with infectious tissue or fluids of dead animals, or by inhaling respiratory droplets from cats or humans with pneumonic plague Exposure to rodent fleas, wild rodents, or other susceptible animals in enzootic areas of western states

44 Plague Risk 2 Highest rates in Native Americans, especially Navajos Other risk groups: hunters; veterinarians and pet owners handling infected cats; campers or hikers entering areas with outbreaks of animal plague Sanitation and flea/rodent avoidance crucial

45 Rare Vector-Borne Infections with Recent US Human Cases Chagas Disease (triatomine bugs) Leishmaniasis (sand flies) Murine Typhus (fleas) Chagas Disease vector in Louisiana, Triatoma sanguisuga

46 Related Problems – Exotic Vector/Pathogen Introductions Introduced vectors – Ae. albopictus, Ae. japonicus Introduced pathogens – WNV (possibly CHIK, JEV, RVFV)

47 Links for Additional Information: (CDC’s NCID/DVBID Home Page) (CDC’s Malaria Home Page) Also search CDC A-Z listing for Chagas, Leishmaniasis, etc.

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