Vector-Host Interactions

NIAID supports a wide range of vector-related research, including activities to better understand the process of transmission of pathogens via arthropod vectors. As part of this effort, NIAID brings together a multidisciplinary group of investigators from the fields of vector biology, parasite immunology, and human immunology to dissect the complex process of pathogen transmission at the intersection of the human host, the arthropod vector, and the pathogen.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to

  • How vector-derived factors in saliva imp​act the transmission of vector-borne pathogens to humans (effect on the pathogen and pathogenesis and on the human immune system, especially dermal immune cells)
  • The effect of human (vertebrate) immune factors ingested with the blood meal on the pathogen and on mosquito biology (survival/fertility)
  • How pathogens and vector interact, especially the effect of vector immune response on the pathogen, its transmission and pathogenesis in the vertebrate host
  • How basic research in this area can be translated  to prevent transmission (i.e., vaccine development)

Select Publications

The below list represents examples of select articles of interest to the vector immunology research community. This list is limited to articles published by NIAID scientists and NIH-funded researchers.


Each year, NIAID hosts meetings on topics related to vector-host interactions. The meetings are usually held at 5601 Fisher’s Lane in Rockville, MD and are targeted to those in the scientific community with expertise relevant to the topic(s) of the meeting. The meeting goals are to bring together experts from different fields of vector-related research, encourage collaboration, and address timely issues related to vector biology studies.

The 2017 meeting, "Kinks in the Armor: A multidisciplinary approach to understand the immune barriers of the skin",  will explore innovative multidisciplinary ideas to study the activation and/or suppression of vertebrate host skin immune cells after exposure to arthropod (vector) saliva/bite.

Past meetings have varied in topics and have included:

For more information on previous and upcoming workshops, please email Adriana Costero-Saint Denis.


Content last reviewed on June 7, 2017