ENY 6206 Ecology of Vector-Borne Disease

ENY 6206 Ecology of Vector-Borne Disease


Vector-borne pathogens affect humans, wildlife and agriculture more than any other group of infectious disease. Researchers, policy makers and public health workers need a firm understanding of the ecology of vector-borne pathogens to effectively predict and interrupt epidemics. This course begins with an introduction to the components inherent to vector-borne disease systems and the basic concepts of disease ecology.

The course then focuses on various pathogens and how aspects of the environment, host and vector biology influence pathogen transmission. Some of the questions that we will address include: Why do epidemics occur where and when they do? Why are some pathogens, such as dengue, re-emerging? Why do most vector-borne pathogens have limited geographic ranges?


  • General Biology

Course Format

Location: Online

Course Goals

  1. Understand the distinctions between ecology of vector-borne and directly transmitted pathogens.
  2. Have a working understanding of concepts of epidemiological models.
  3. Understand the factors that limit, initiate, maintain and spread the transmission of vector-borne pathogens.
  4. Gain knowledge about varied pathogens transmitted by diverse vector groups.
  5. Graduate students will review, understand and synthesize scientific literature pertinent to the ecology of vector-borne diseases including emergent pathogens, climate change, host selection and biological diversity.


Week 1Introduction:What is a vector? What is a parasite? What is a pathogen?
Week 2Arthropod vectors: Biology of Insects and mites
Week 3Non-arthropod-vectors: Biology of vertebrates
Week 4Ecology;Pathogen environmental adaptation(guest lecture)
Week 5Zoonoses and Anthroponoses
Week 6SIR Models(with guest lecture)
Week 7Exam 1(Oct. 2); Rabies, hanta virus and Ebola
Week 8Dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya
Week 9Bluetongue virus (guest lecture) and eastern equine encephalitis virus
Week 10West Nile virus
Week 11Plague and tularemia
Week 12Huanglongbing/ citrus greening (guest lecture)
Week 13Lyme disease
Week 14Chagas Disease (Thanksgiving week)
Week 15Malaria &river blindness; Review article due (ENY 6206 only)
Week 16Exam 2(Dec.4)