Vectors and vector borne diseases


Session coordinators: Nick De Regge, Isra Deblauwe & Steven Van Gucht



Session report available here.


In our interacting living world, some microbes and other organisms use a complex transmission cycle involving various hosts for their survival, reproduction and spread. This is the case for what we call vector borne diseases (VBD). Such pathogens are transferred between hosts by invertebrate vectors that do not suffer from their presence but they (occasionally) cause harmful effects to their human and/or animal host. Current environmental changes linked to human activities (a.o. climate change, landscape changes) together with increased globalization and the use of antimicrobial products and insecticides can rapidly change the distribution, composition, abundance and dynamics of pathogens and vectors. This can result in changes at the pathogen - vector - host interface and could potentially be accompanied by changes in host spectrum and pathogen virulence.

In this session, we will illustrate these changes through actual examples and discuss how this evolution requires to develop or adapt monitoring and management plans towards vectors and VBD, in particular in Belgium and Europe but also through One Health/EcoHealth approaches on the field in developing countries, and through adequate and coherent international collaboration of concerned actors in different sectors.   

The discussion will be preceded by introductory presentations on:

- vector monitoring in Belgium and neighboring countries

- vector competence and the potential role of indigenous vectors for disease transmission

- vector borne diseases threatening Belgium and northern Europe

- disease specific presentations on Zika virus, tick borne diseases, …


Session coordinators: Nick De Regge, Isra Deblauwe & Steven Van Gucht 

Introductory speakers:

Albert Godal (Ministère de la Santé – France: Bureau des risques infectieux émergents et des vigilances)

Wim Van Bortel (ECDC -

Veerle Vanlerberghe (ITM -