List of diseases caused by insects
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Invertebrates are very common vectors of disease. A vector is an organism which spreads disease from one host to another. Invertebrates spread bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens by two main mechanisms. Either via their bite, as in the case of malaria spread by mosquitoes, or via their faeces, as in the case of Chagas' Disease spread by Triatoma bugs or epidemic typhus spread by human body lice.
Many invertebrates are responsible for transmitting diseases. Mosquitoes are perhaps the best known invertebrate vector and transmit a wide range of tropical diseases including malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. Another large group of vectors are flies. Sandfly species transmit the disease leishmaniasis, by acting as vectors for protozoan Leishmania species, and tsetse flies transmit protozoan trypansomes (Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypansoma brucei rhodesiense) which cause African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). Ticks and lice form another large group of invertebrate vectors. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme Disease, is transmitted by ticks and members of the bacterial genus Rickettsia are transmitted by lice. For example, the human body louse transmits the bacterium Rickettsia prowazekii which causes epidemic typhus.
Although invertebrate-transmitted diseases pose a particular threat on the continents of Africa, Asia and South America, there is one way of controlling invertebrate-borne diseases, which is by controlling the invertebrate vector. For example, one way of controlling malaria is to control the mosquito vector through the use of mosquito nets, which prevent mosquitoes from coming into contact with humans.
This is a list of diseases spread by invertebrates.
|African horse sickness||Culicoid midge||Orbivirus (virus)||Equids||Fever, lung, heart or mucous membrane symptoms.||Europe, Africa||Vaccination|
|Babesiosis||Tick||Babesia (protozoan)||Human, cattle||Fever then red urine||South Europe and Africa||Antibiotics|
|Bluetongue disease||Culicoid midge||Orbivirus (virus)||Cattle, sheep||Fever, salivation, swelling of face and tongue||Europe, Africa||Vaccination|
|Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)||Various assassin bugs of subfamily Triatominae||Trypanosoma cruzi (protozoan)||Mild symptoms, then chronic heart or brain inflammation||Central and South America||Antiparasitic drugs; treatment of symptoms|
|Dengue fever||Mosquito||Flavivirus (virus)||Fever then arthritis||(Sub) tropics and South Europe||Observation/supportive treatment|
|Tick-borne encephalitis||Tick||Tick-borne encephalitis virus||Ill with flu then meningitis||Central and North Europe||prevention and vaccination|
|Leishmaniasis||Sandfly||Leishmania (protozoan)||Fever, damage to the spleen and liver, and anaemia||South hemisphere and Mediterranean Countries||Treatment of infected|
|Lyme disease||Tick||Borrelia burgdorferi (bacterium)||Deer, human||Skin rash then paralysis||Europe, North Africa, and North America||Prevention and antibiotics|
|Malaria||Mosquito||Plasmodium (protist)||Human||Headache then heavy fever||(Sub) tropics||Prevention and anti-malaria|
|Plague||Flea||Rats, Human||Prevention and Antibiotics|
|Mosquito||Sindbis virus||Skin rash, fever, in severe cases - arthritis||Scandinavia, France, Russia||unknown|
African tick bite fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever etc.
|Tick, lice||Rickettsia species (bacteria)||Fever with bleeding around the bite||Global||Prevention and antibiotics|
|African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)||Tsetse fly||Trypanosoma brucei (protozoan)||Wild mammals, cattle, human||Fever, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, sleep disturbances||Sub-Saharan Africa||Various drugs|
|West Nile disease||Mosquito||West Nile virus||Birds, human||Fever then meningitis||Africa, Asia, North America, South and East Europe||None|