Innovative Holistic and Transdisciplinary Approaches to Control Vector-borne Diseases

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 3605

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1432 Ås, Norway
Interests: vector biology and ecology; integrated vector management; ecology; human–ecosystem interactions

Special Issue Information

Vector-borne disease (VBD) dynamics are affected by complex environmental, societal, and human interactions. Many VBD control strategies rely exclusively, or considerably, on vector control. Vector control has generally taken reductionist top-down approaches through chemical methods, with infrequent community support. Many of these strategies have failed as demonstrated by, for example, the resurgence and continuous global increase of dengue. Achieving effective and sustainable vector control entails the recognition that pathogen–vector–host–environment systems are complex adaptive systems that are best understood from a holistic perspective employing transdisciplinary research. Complex adaptive systems involve many components that interact, adapt, or learn as they interact. Holism means viewing and understanding natural systems as wholes, and not as a collection of parts. Transdisciplinary research is at once between, across, and beyond individual disciplines, and, to the extent possible, involves all stakeholders, including affected local communities, for defining research objectives and strategies. Transdisciplinary approaches are therefore essential for vector control intervention design and delivery in order to achieve sustainable VBD control. We invite contributions that increase the understanding of VBD control consistent with transdisciplinarity, in order to improve the local capacity for disease control. We particularly encourage contributions that expand on integrated vector management, drawing on, for example, socio-ecological systems framing; arthropod population and community ecology, including predator–prey relationships; pathogen transmission dynamics; genetics and evolutionary adaptation; community-based participatory research; ecosystem approaches; socioeconomics; behavioral change; and cultural aspects, including local/traditional knowledge, and cognitive, philosophical, and religious dimensions.

Dr. Hans J. Overgaard
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2600 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.


  • vector control
  • arboviruses
  • malaria
  • other vector borne diseases
  • holistic strategies
  • interventions
  • transdisciplinarity

Published Papers (1 paper)

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19 pages, 872 KiB  
Effectiveness of Positive Deviance, an Asset-Based Behavior Change Approach, to Improve Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Dengue in Low-Income Communities (Slums) of Islamabad, Pakistan: A Mixed-Method Study
by Muhammad Shafique, Muhammad Mukhtar, Chitlada Areesantichai and Usaneya Perngparn
Insects 2022, 13(1), 71; - 8 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2964
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, viral disease that has emerged as a global health concern in recent years. In the absence of specific antiviral treatment and vaccines, prevention remains the key strategy for dengue control. Therefore, innovative and community-driven approaches are required to improve [...] Read more.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, viral disease that has emerged as a global health concern in recent years. In the absence of specific antiviral treatment and vaccines, prevention remains the key strategy for dengue control. Therefore, innovative and community-driven approaches are required to improve the vector control practices. This study applied and evaluated the positive deviance (PD) approach on dengue prevention and control in selected slums of Islamabad during June–October 2020. The two most dengue-affected slums, the Faisal colony and France colony, were purposively selected as intervention and control groups, respectively. A total of 112 participants (56 for the intervention and 56 for the control group) participated in the study. The intervention group was exposed for two months to locally identified role model behaviors through weekly interactive sessions, dengue sketch competitions, and role plays. Another two months enabled the community to practice these behaviors without any external support in order to explore the intervention’s sustainability. Three surveys were conducted: before the intervention, after two months, and after four months, to assess any changes in the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of participating communities. Results found that the PD intervention had a significant positive impact on dengue knowledge, attitudes, and practices in the intervention group. PD could offer an empowering and efficient community engagement tool for future dengue prevention and control, both in Pakistan and more globally. Full article
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