Newly emerging or re-emerging infections continue to pose significant global public health threats. This chapter provides an overview of the combinations of factors that led to the emergence of arthropod-borne viruses as human and veterinary health threats, in order to understand the risk associated and how this can be mitigated. Considering the history of emergence of some arboviruses, these epidemics have occurred globally as a result of climate and socioeconomic changes that have allowed the spread to new geographical areas of viruses previously confined to specific ecological niches such as West Nile and Chikungunya, or viruses considered under control such as Dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and Yellow fever. Moreover, the greatest risk for humans derives from the ability of these viruses to adopt transmission cycles involving highly anthropophilic mosquito species. Finally, many other arboviruses are largely ignored despite their potential to emerge globally. The recent epidemic spread of Zika virus throughout the Americas is the evidence that arboviruses are likely to continually emerge and re-emerge and that improved scientific technologies and knowledge is essential to deal with future vector-borne epidemics. Research priorities should therefore focus on surveillance systems and vector control tools, as well as on the development of antiviral molecules or candidate vaccine.
Part of the book: Public Health