Research Topic

Global change and human vulnerability to vector-borne diseases

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It is well known that several climatic, environmental and socio-demographic changes that have occurred in the last years are some of the most important causes for the emergence/resurgence of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Global change can be defined as the impact of human activity on the fundamental ...

It is well known that several climatic, environmental and socio-demographic changes that have occurred in the last years are some of the most important causes for the emergence/resurgence of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Global change can be defined as the impact of human activity on the fundamental mechanisms of biosphere functioning. Therefore, global change includes not only climate change, but also habitat transformation, water cycle modification, biodiversity loss, synanthropic incursion of alien species into new territories, or introduction of new chemicals in nature.

On this respect, some of the effects of global change on vector-borne diseases can be currently evaluated. Globalization has enabled the movement of parasites, viruses and vectors among different countries, or even at intercontinental level. On this regard, it is important to note that the increase of imported malaria cases in different Southern European countries has led to the re-appearance of autochthonous cases of disease transmission. Moreover, the used tire trade, together with global warming, have facilitated the introduction, spread and establishment of potential Dengue tropical vectors, such as Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus in temperate areas. Consequently, recently the first Dengue indigenous cases in the last decades have been reported in different Southern areas of North America and Europe. Furthermore, habitat modification, mainly deforestation and transformation of aquatic environments, together with the changes in thermal and rainfall patterns, are two of the key factors to explain the increasing incidence of Leishmaniasis and several tick-borne diseases.

The aim of this Research Topic is to cover all related fields with the binomial vector-borne diseases / global change, including basic and applied research, approaches to control measures, explanations of new theories, opinion articles, reviews, etc. To discuss these issues, a holistic and integrative point of view is necessary, which only would be achieved by the close and active participation of specialists on entomology, parasitology, virology and epidemiology. Our objective is to use a systems approach to the problem of global change and vector-borne diseases. To achieve this ambitious goal and to comply with a demand of first-rate scientific and medical interest, we are very keen on asking for the participation of multiple contributors.

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