Microbiology Today August issue: Arboviruses and their Vectors

06 August 2019

Microbiology Today August 2019 considers some of the viruses that are transmitted by arthropods and the arthropod vectors that carry them. The five feature articles look at how arboviruses affect plants, animals and humans alike and cover a range of topics, from overviews of specific arboviruses to how to control the spread of the diseases they cause by targeting the vectors that facilitate their transmission.

Plants are the first focus, with John P. Carr, Ken Okwae Fening, Paul Kuria, Alex M. Murphy, Josiah Musembi Mutuku, Jane Wamaitha Mwathi and Mildred Ochwo-Ssemakula outlining some of the ways in which arboviruses threaten food security. They comment on the scale of the risk posed by these viruses, emphasising their effect on plants across the globe. The article moves on to potential ways in which to better understand these viruses, ending by looking at solutions for combating them.  

Switching from plant to human pathogens, Roger Hewson focuses on Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in the second article. Using the World Health Organization’s research and development (R&D) Blueprint as background, Roger provides an overview of the virus and its global impact, highlighting the importance of better understanding and more research in tackling the disease.

Kevin Maringer follows with his article on dengue virus, which also causes disease in humans, and the focus is very much on the human impact. Kevin introduces the disease itself, outlining previous efforts to combat the virus and its vectors, before looking to the future of research.

Arboviruses and their Vectors video

The focus then shifts to vectors rather than the arboviruses themselves. Ewa Chrostek discusses the many potential uses of the bacterium Wolbachia to control the spread of arboviruses, for example due to its ability to reduce the vulnerability of mosquitoes to attack by arboviruses.

On a similar theme, Christine Reitmayer, Priscilla Tng and Luke Alphey then look at the potential benefits and various challenges associated with genetically engineering transgenic mosquitoes in order to reduce the burden of arboviruses. They examine the various options and the pros and cons of each.  

The issue ends with Rennos Fragkoudis and Barrie Atkinson’s Comment article, ‘Arboviruses: what will bite next?’ which looks at arboviruses more broadly, through history and by assessing their impact. They question which arbovirus may become the biggest threat, concluding with the point that further understanding and surveillance are required to reduce the worldwide burden of these viruses.

The issue also contains updates on our 75th anniversary projects including information about our 2020 Annual Conference and ‘A Sustainable Future’ project, FIS 2019, careers advice and more.

View the latest issue online.