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October 1, 2015
Integrating vector control across diseases - new paper

Golding et al have published a new paper, Integrating vector control across diseases in BMC Medicine.

Vector-borne diseases cause a significant proportion of the overall burden of disease across the globe, accounting for over 10 % of the burden of infectious diseases. Despite the availability of effective interventions for many of these diseases, a lack of resources prevents their effective control. Many existing vector control interventions are known to be effective against multiple diseases, so combining vector control programmes to simultaneously tackle several diseases could offer more cost-effective and therefore sustainable disease reductions.

This paper combines contemporary high-resolution global maps of the major vector-borne pathogens, enabling the overlap in their distributions to be quantified and estimate the populations jointly at risk of multiple diseases.

Malaria, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, and dengue are prime candidates for combined vector control. All four of these diseases overlap considerably in their distributions and there is a growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of insecticide-treated nets, screens, and curtains for controlling all of their vectors. The real-world effectiveness of cross-disease vector control programmes can only be evaluated by large-scale trials, but there is clear evidence of the potential of such an approach to enable greater overall health benefit using the limited funds available.