Living With Vector Biology

Mosquito

Mosquito

Global political power is often exercised through the use of military deployments to foreign lands. One limitation to the use of military force has been foreign diseases and susceptibility of troops to diseases. Large armies were deployed by global powers in the 19th century. Some of them met catastrophe in the form of tropical diseases such as yellow fever. Some army doctors turned their attention to diseases afflicting their troops. Army doctors were the leaders in developing the science of parasitology and vector biology.

Vector biology originates with the work of Patrick Manson, an English army surgeon. Manson studied filariasis, a disease caused by the nematode, Filaria sanguinis hominis. He discovered that humans could be infected with the worm through the bite of a mosquito & published his findings in 1898. His report stimulated subsequent research that identified mosquitoes as vectors of malaria and yellow fever. By 1904, Vector Biology had a firm scientific basis and strategies based on mosquito biology were being applied that would effectively eliminate Yellow Fever from the Panama Canal Zone.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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