About this Research Topic
Infectious diseases are responsible for 20% of all deaths in the world annually, but in low income countries this number can reach up to 58%. Over one million people die every year from tropical diseases (TDs), prevailing in poor countries with a colonial past and located between the two tropics. TDs can be caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria, protozoa or worms, and are transmitted directly from person to person or through insects or mollusks. Insects transmit about 60% of TDs worldwide, such as malaria, dengue, zika, chikungunya, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. Vector control is one of the most effective ways to prevent these diseases, through the use of chemical insecticides, or sustainable methods, such as transgenic insects or larval control. Newly developed strategies are based on a meticulous comprehension of the pathogen-insect host interactions, such as the transmission blocking vaccines.
Vector-borne diseases are largely neglected by governments and the pharmaceutical industry, lacking investment to develop environmentally clean and effective treatments, vaccines and other methods to control transmission. Environmental factors greatly influence the prevalence of tropical infectious diseases. Control strategies that acknowledge this relationship are more effective and environmentally friendly in comparison to chemical insecticides. Most recently, strategies that consider the insect vector a tool for pathogen blocking, such as approaches using genetic engineering, intestinal microbiota of insects, as well as transmission-blocking vaccines, have opened a new venue for disease control. Thus, the purpose of this research topic is to gather studies that highlight various and new aspects of the relationship between pathogens that cause tropical diseases and their vectors.
This Research Topic (RT) is intended to be a discussion forum that addresses the interactions of insects with agents that cause tropical diseases. Studies on the relationship between any protozoan, worm, bacteria or virus with their host insects are welcome to be submitted to this RT.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- Studies on biological, morphological, biochemical, immunological or genetic aspects of interactions between any worm, protozoa, bacteria or virus with insects (or other arthropods).
- Genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic approaches used to study the interactions mentioned above.
- Studies aiming the development of drugs and vaccines that reduce transmission of vector-borne pathogens from humans back to insects.
- Studies on various aspects of the intestinal microbiota of insects or other arthropods and its impact on pathogen transmission.
Keywords: Tropical Diseases, Vector-born diseases, Parasites, Virus, microoganism-insect interactions
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.