Protists embrace many species, some of which may be either occasional or permanent parasites of vertebrate animals. Between the parasite species, several of medical and veterinary importance are vector-transmitted. The ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne parasitoses, including babesiosis, leishmaniasis and malaria, are particularly complex, as they are influenced by many factors, such as vector reproductive efficiency and geographical spread, vectorial capacity, host immunity, travel and human behaviour and climatic factors. Transmission dynamics are determined by the interactions between pathogen, vector, host and environmental factors and, given their complexity, many different types of mathematical models have been developed to understand them. A good basic knowledge of vector-pathogen relationships and transmission dynamics is thus essential for disease surveillance and control interventions and may help in understanding the spread of epidemics and be useful for public health planning.
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- Plasmodium berghei
- Vector-borne protozoan infections