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US Army Med Dep J. 2009 Jul-Sep:16-27.

Operational vector-borne disease surveillance and control: closing the capabilities gap through research at overseas military laboratories.

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Department of Entomology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand.


Malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya virus, leishmaniasis, and a myriad of other vector-borne diseases pose significant threats to the warfighter and to the overall combat effectiveness of units. Military preventive medicine (PM) assets must accurately evaluate the vector-borne disease threat and then implement and/or advise the commander on countermeasures to reduce a particular threat. The success of these measures is contingent upon the biology of the disease vector and on the tools or methods used to conduct vector/pathogen surveillance and vector control. There is a significant gap between the tools available and those required for operational PM assets to provide real-time, effective surveillance and control. A network of US Army and US Navy overseas laboratories is focused on closing the current capabilities gap. Their mission is to develop and field test tools and methods to enhance the combatant commander's ability to identify and mitigate the threat posed by these vector-borne diseases.

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