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Vector Biology

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NIAID Role

NIAID conducts and supports a wide variety of vector research to reduce the spread of diseases and human suffering. Currently, the Vector Biology Research Program supports international and domestic research activities based in the laboratory as well as projects in the field.

Ixodes tick

An adult female western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacifus, has been shown to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease. Credit: CDC

NIAID focuses on research to better understand the relationship of vectors and their environment, the disease-causing pathogens transmitted by vectors, and interactions between the vector and the people and animals they bite and make sick (called hosts).

The following research areas are currently represented in the Program:

  • Ecology, epidemiology, and behavior
  • Biochemistry and physiology
  • Genomics, proteomics, population genetics, genetic modification of vectors
  • Factors influencing pathogen development and transmission
  • Vector/host and parasite/vector interactions
  • Vector immunology
  • Insecticide resistance
  • Targets for possible new larvicides/insecticides/repellents
  • New devices to collect, trap, and identify vectors

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Last Updated August 02, 2011