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Special Issue "Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Disease Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2022 | Viewed by 2456

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andrea Trevisan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy
Interests: biological risk; public health; occupational health; toxicology; kidney toxicity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Chiara Bertoncello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy
Interests: biological risk; public health; health promotion; primary care; epidemiology
Dr. Marco Fonzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy
Interests: vaccine-preventable diseases; public health; health promotion; primary care; epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the extremely high number of disease cases per year, together with high fatality rates and difficulties in vector control, vector-borne diseases are a tremendous public health concern worldwide.

Vector-borne diseases are infections transmitted by the bite of infected arthropod species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, triatomine bugs, sandflies, and blackflies. Vectors can transmit infectious diseases either actively or passively.

Weather influences the survival and reproduction rates of vectors; the intensity and temporal patterns of vector activity; and rates of development, survival and reproduction of pathogens within vectors. Many other factors influence vector distribution, such as habitat destruction, land use, pesticide application, host density and increased connectivity between geographical regions due to international air travel. The route of transmission is identifiable, but the distribution within an endemic area is most often uneven. In particular, older people with a weakened immune response, or people with an underlying disease that may affect the immune system, have a higher risk of developing a vector-borne disease. As many factors influence vector-borne disease risk, evaluation of a potential risk always has to take environmental circumstances, the vector situation and human factors into account.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Epidemiology of vector and host species;
  • Risk factors influencing acquisition, severity and course of disease in humans;
  • Factors responsible for the emergence of vector-borne diseases: demographic and societal changes, climate changes, genetic changes in pathogens, ambient changes (such as unplanned and uncontrolled urbanization, agricultural practices and deforestation);
  • Public health intervention: environmental monitoring, protective immunity, risk analysis models, spatial modeling of human risk of exposure to vector-borne pathogens;
  • Economical and human resources needed for surveillance, prevention, and control of vector-borne diseases.

Research articles, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, overviews, opinions, and commentaries from diverse fields, including epidemiology, public health, medicine, genetics, systems biology, data science, environmental studies, and statistics, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Trevisan
Dr. Chiara Bertoncello
Dr. Marco Fonzo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • vector-borne diseases
  • public health
  • environment
  • climate change
  • spatial modeling

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
The Seroprevalence and Hidden Burden of Chikungunya Endemicity and Malaria Mono- and Coinfection in Nigeria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 8896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19158896 - 22 Jul 2022
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Background: Mosquito-borne infections are of global health concern because of their rapid spread and upsurge, which creates a risk for coinfections. Chikungunya, an arbovirus disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti or A. albopictus, and malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by Anopheles gambiae [...] Read more.
Background: Mosquito-borne infections are of global health concern because of their rapid spread and upsurge, which creates a risk for coinfections. Chikungunya, an arbovirus disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti or A. albopictus, and malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by Anopheles gambiae, are prevalent in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, but their burden and possible coinfections are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the seroprevalence, hidden burden and endemicity of chikungunya and malaria in three regions in Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional sero-survey was conducted on 871 participants in three regions of Nigeria. The samples were collected from outpatients employing simple random sampling. All serum sample analyses were performed using CHIKV virus-like particle recomLine Tropical Fever for the presence of arboviral antibody serological marker IgG immunoblot for chikungunya and malaria RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) for malaria parasites. Results: The seroprevalences of chikungunya and malaria mono-infection were 64.9% and 27.7%, respectively, while the coinfection seroprevalence was 71.9%. The central (69.5%) and northern (67.0%) regions showed more significant seroprevalences than the southern region (48.0%). The seroprevalence and the hidden burden of chikungunya and malaria infections varied across the three geographical regions. Conclusions: This study highlighted an unexpectedly high seroprevalence and hidden endemicity of chikungunya and a less surprising high malaria endemicity in three regions of Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health)
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Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in Relation to Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Bangladesh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148258 - 06 Jul 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) such as dengue, malaria, and chikungunya are common in Bangladesh, with frequent outbreaks in the rainy season. Analysis of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of people toward any crisis is fundamental to addressing any gap. Here, we conducted a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) such as dengue, malaria, and chikungunya are common in Bangladesh, with frequent outbreaks in the rainy season. Analysis of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of people toward any crisis is fundamental to addressing any gap. Here, we conducted a cross-sectional study mainly focusing on the northern, southern and central parts of Bangladesh to understand the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of people regarding MBDs, mosquito habitats, or control measures. A total of 1720 participants were involved in the study from 33 out of 64 districts of Bangladesh, of which 56.9% were male. While most of them knew about dengue (97.1%), chikungunya (81.4%), and malaria (85.2%), only half of them were aware of filaria (53.3%), which is endemic to the northern region. A knowledge score (0–8, low), (9–16, moderate), (17–24, high), and attitude score (0–4, poor), (5–8, moderate), and (9–13, high) were assigned. While poor and moderate attitudes were considered negative, good attitudes were considered positive. About 45% of the respondents had a moderate knowledge score (50–70); however, about 67.9% of participants showed a good attitude score (>70) towards the control of MBDs. It was found that the knowledge and attitude of the responders were related to their profession (knowledge p < 0.001; attitude, p = 0.002), residential area (knowledge p < 0.001; attitude, p < 0.001), and education level (knowledge p < 0.001; attitude p = 0.004). A mosquito is a kind of nuisance bug, and about 79.8% of responders admitted that they kill mosquitoes as soon as they notice them. They also use bed nets (93.7%) followed by mosquito coils (85.7%) as a preventive method. Interestingly, 73.2% of the responders were reluctant to contact the local government during an increase in mosquito numbers. Overall, the people of Bangladesh have a positive attitude towards the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases. It is highly recommended that the government creates more knowledge regarding this issue and develops collaborative approaches with local people to implement robust preventive measures against mosquito-borne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health)
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Article
Seroprevalence Rates against West Nile, Usutu, and Tick-Borne Encephalitis Viruses in Blood-Donors from North-Western Romania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138182 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Introduction: West Nile virus (WNV), Usutu virus (USUV), and the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) are all arboviruses belonging to Flaviviridae family. All are characterized by vectorial transmission and sometimes associated with neuroinvasive infections. The circulation of these viruses is considered endemic in parts [...] Read more.
Introduction: West Nile virus (WNV), Usutu virus (USUV), and the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) are all arboviruses belonging to Flaviviridae family. All are characterized by vectorial transmission and sometimes associated with neuroinvasive infections. The circulation of these viruses is considered endemic in parts of Europe, with human cases reported in many countries. Among hosts, the viruses are vectored by hematophagous arthropods, such as mosquitoes (WNV, USUV) and ticks (TBEV). Considering the currently outdated knowledge regarding the epidemiology of these viruses in Romania, the aim of our study was to assess the seroprevalence rates of WNV, USUV, and TBEV among healthy blood donors in north-western Romania. Methods: Human blood samples from healthy donors were collected between November 2019 and February 2020 in six counties from the north-western region of Romania. The samples were serologically tested by ELISA and serum neutralization test. Results: Overall, we obtained a seroprevalence of 3.17% for WNV, 0.08% for TBEV, and 0% for USUV. Conclusion: Despite the low seroprevalence of WNV, USUV, and TBEV in our study, we highlight the need for continuous nationwide vector and disease surveillance and implementation of control measures. Further research is required for an optimal overview of the epidemiological status of the Romanian population regarding these flaviviruses together with countrywide awareness campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health)
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Article
The Effects of Meteorological Factors on Dengue Cases in Malaysia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116449 - 26 May 2022
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Dengue is a vector-borne disease affected by meteorological factors and is commonly recorded from ground stations. Data from ground station have limited spatial representation and accuracy, which can be overcome using satellite-based Earth Observation (EO) recordings instead. EO-based meteorological recordings can help to [...] Read more.
Dengue is a vector-borne disease affected by meteorological factors and is commonly recorded from ground stations. Data from ground station have limited spatial representation and accuracy, which can be overcome using satellite-based Earth Observation (EO) recordings instead. EO-based meteorological recordings can help to provide a better understanding of the correlations between meteorological variables and dengue cases. This paper aimed to first validate the satellite-based (EO) data of temperature, wind speed, and rainfall using ground station data. Subsequently, we aimed to determine if the spatially matched EO data correlated with dengue fever cases from 2011 to 2019 in Malaysia. EO data were spatially matched with the data from four ground stations located at states and districts in the central (Selangor, Petaling) and east coast (Kelantan, Kota Baharu) geographical regions of Peninsular Malaysia. Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficient (ρ) was performed to examine the correlation between EO and ground station data. A cross-correlation analysis with an eight-week lag period was performed to examine the magnitude of correlation between EO data and dengue case across the three time periods (2011–2019, 2015–2019, 2011–2014). The highest correlation between the ground-based stations and corresponding EO data were reported for temperature (mean ρ = 0.779), followed by rainfall (mean ρ = 0.687) and wind speed (mean ρ = 0.639). Overall, positive correlations were observed between weekly dengue cases and rainfall for Selangor and Petaling across all time periods with significant correlations being observed for the period from 2011 to 2019 and 2015 to 2019. In addition, positive significant correlations were also observed between weekly dengue cases and temperature for Kelantan and Kota Baharu across all time periods, while negative significant correlations between weekly dengue cases and temperature were observed in Selangor and Petaling across all time periods. Overall negative correlations were observed between weekly dengue cases and wind speed in all areas from 2011 to 2019 and 2015 to 2019, with significant correlations being observed for the period from 2015 to 2019. EO-derived meteorological variables explained 48.2% of the variation in dengue cases in Selangor. Moderate to strong correlations were observed between meteorological variables recorded from EO data derived from satellites and ground stations, thereby justifying the use of EO data as a viable alternative to ground stations for recording meteorological variables. Both rainfall and temperature were found to be positively correlated with weekly dengue cases; however, wind speed was negatively correlated with dengue cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health)
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Article
A Model to Estimate the Effect of International Traffic on Malaria Cases: The Case of Japan from 1999 to 2021
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020880 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 475
Abstract
Aiming to identify the potentially reduced malaria cases by stagnation of international traffic after the COVID-19 pandemic, a longitudinal analysis of malaria cases as well as entries of Japanese and foreigners was conducted using data from 5 April 1999 to 30 September 2021 [...] Read more.
Aiming to identify the potentially reduced malaria cases by stagnation of international traffic after the COVID-19 pandemic, a longitudinal analysis of malaria cases as well as entries of Japanese and foreigners was conducted using data from 5 April 1999 to 30 September 2021 in Japan. Multivariable risk ratios were calculated with the Poison regression model as a predictive model of malaria cases by the number of entries for Japanese and foreigners. A generalized regression model was used to examine an association of time trend with entries for Japanese and foreigners using data before 2019, to estimate the potentially reduced number of entries after 2020. The potentially reduced number of malaria cases was estimated by the potentially reduced number of entries for Japanese and foreigners after 2020 using a multivariable Poison regression model. The multivariable risk ratio (95% confidence intervals) of malaria case numbers per 100,000 persons increment of entries per day was 3.41 (1.50–7.77) for Japanese and 1.47 (0.92–2.35) for foreigners. During 2020, a potential reduction of 28 (95% confidence limit: 22–34) malaria cases was estimated, which accounted for 58% (52–63%) of malaria cases in Japan. These finding suggest that the stagnation of international traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of malaria cases in Japan. This model may be helpful for countries without indigenous malaria to predict future trends of imported malaria cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health)
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