The Role of Human Movement in the Transmission of Vector-Borne Pathogens

This paper highlights how human movement greatly affects the transmission of vector-borne diseases; specifically dengue.  This paper also notes that the behavior of vectors also plays an important role in disease transmission.  Vector behavior can range from activity (nocturnal) to the biting patterns of the vector. The fact that vectors may be attracted to certain hosts over others also must be taken into account. I think the strength of this paper is the model used to support the data. The model is termed ‘the activity space model’. Spatial arrangement can be broad (international) and local. This model focuses on the few places that individuals spend most of their time (local). The big idea is to use human habitual behaviors to track the places they spend the most time. These individual movements are broken down into spatial and temporal scales. From this model authors concluded that movements with greater spatial arrangements usually involve more time, but not always. The most important thing that the model shows is which movements actually are important when looking at rates of transmission versus those that do not really contribute to transmission. I did find all the different equations a little confusing.  Overall, the data from this paper can help better disease prevention programs.

2 thoughts on “The Role of Human Movement in the Transmission of Vector-Borne Pathogens

  1. This makes me think of how I went to Nicaragua this spring break and I had to go to the health clinic at Emory first. One of the concerns for going to this area was Dengue (never got it though!). So I understand from personal experience how movement or travel affects vector-borne pathogens.

  2. I am traveling to Honduras this summer. I have to get vaccinations for typhoid, yellow fever, and Hepatitis A! I thought it was interesting that only people traveling from countries with a high yellow fever risk are required to get the vaccine! I would think that everybody should have to be vaccinated because of issues such as human movement!

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