Several billion people are at daily risk of life-threatening vector-borne diseases such as malaria, trypanosomiasis and dengue, and the dark shadow of plague hovers in the few endemic foci where it waits ready to re-emerge in a deadly pandemic. The abortive attempt to control malaria in the 1960s showed us the problem that we face in eradicating vector-borne diseases. Research into these tropical diseases fell into neglect during the 1960s, but in the 1970s research was once more directed towards vector-borne diseases and more recent initiatives such as the Roll Back Malaria Campaign have kept them in the international spotlight. If we are not to repeat the mistakes of the past it will be necessary to use all of our knowledge of vector biology. Written by international researchers in the field this volume describes the way in which pathogens interact with the vectors that transmit them. It details the elegant biological adaptations that have enabled pathogens to live with their vectors and in some circumstances control them. This knowledge has led to new control strategies in the form of antibiotics and new vaccines which are targeted not at the pathogen but at its vector. The recent epidemic of West Nile virus infection in the United States and of Nipah virus in Malaysia suggests that vector-borne diseases are of growing concern to everyone. Microbe-Vector Interactions in Vector-borne Diseases is essential reading for researchers and clinicians working with these diseases.
Stephen H. Gillespie is Professor of Medical Microbiology in the Department of Infectious Diseases at University College London, UK.
Geoffrey L. Smith is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and Head of Department of Virology at Imperial College London, UK.
Anne Osbourn is a Group leader in the Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
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