Vector-borne diseases, like malaria, dengue, West Nile, and Rift Valley Fever are major public health problems in cities throughout the world. The extent of disease in each city varies largely as a function of the environment that regulates the dynamics of insect vector populations. Poverty, urban farming, water and sanitation availability, increased population movement, deteriorating infrastructures, overcrowding in urban areas, and natural disasters all contribute to the development of conditions that modify the natural habitats of insect vectors. These complex problems can best be addressed through interdisciplinary approaches, as history has shown that medical and entomological approaches alone are not sufficient. An INTERVECTOR Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary Research will be developed through the Global Public Health Program of the University of Miami (UM). Partnerships will be developed between UM faculty and international collaborators to study the ecology and control of mosquito-borne diseases at 7 selected cities in three regions: East Africa (Kenya), the Middle East (Israel, Egypt), and Latin America-Caribbean (Trinidad and Costa Rica). There are 4 specific aims: 1) construct study designs that incorporate interdisciplinary approaches for problem-solving strategies that are relevant to the ecology and control of vector-borne diseases in urban environments, 2) assess current and future risks of vector-borne diseases at each selected city through interdisciplinary assessments of entomological, epidemiological, environmental, and demographic parameters, 3) conduct small-scale field studies in each of the selected cities to obtain further interdisciplinary information on key factors affecting the spatial and temporal risks of mosquito-human contact and vector-borne diseases, and 4) strengthen capacity for harnessing the power of interdisciplinary approaches for controlling vector-borne diseases in urban environments. A major outcome will include new testable interdisciplinary approaches for controlling vector-borne diseases in urban environments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-BT-8 (01))
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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