Applied Research Programs

We have developed an innovative applied research agenda directly evaluating new strategies for vector-borne disease monitoring, prediction, and control.

Each of our applied research projects falls within one of the categories below. Click on each category to learn more about our ongoing projects and research partners.

Trapping and Surveillance

Trapping and Surveillance: Projects in this group focus on developing or significantly improving traps and field surveillance techniques to target the most important tick and mosquito disease vectors in the Northeast region. Our team of researchers are also testing field collections of ticks and mosquitoes to understand what pathogens they are carrying in targeted areas across the region.

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Predicting Human Risk of Infection

Predicting Human Risk of Infection: Researchers working in this area are combining extensive surveillance datasets and newly gathered information to develop descriptive and predictive models for the presence, abundance, and potential spread of tick and mosquito vectors and their associated pathogens in the Northeast. Accurate information on the current and predicted spatial patterns of human risk of exposure to infected ticks and mosquitoes is essential for the public to make personal protection decisions and for the efficient allocation of public health resources.

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Vector-Pathogen Interactions

Vector-Pathogen Interactions: Vector competence is the ability of arthropods to acquire, maintain, and transmit disease-causing agents to other animals. Researchers working in this area are testing the vector competence of mosquito and tick populations in the Northeast for a variety of pathogens important to human health. Our team is focused on serious immediate and future threats in our region, including West Nile virus, Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease bacteria), Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Powassan virus, Zika virus, chikungunya virus, and dengue virus.

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Biology, Behavior, and Winter Survival

Biology, Behavior, and Winter Survival: Arthropod disease vectors, and the microbes they harbor, are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature. Researchers in this group are focused on identifying biological and ecological aspects of vector life history in the Northeast. They are also investigating environmental cues triggering diapause, temperature thresholds for overwintering survival, and larval development for targeted tick and mosquito species.

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Chemical Control & Pesticide Resistance

Chemical Control & Pesticide Resistance: Effective vector control depends on careful assessment of existing and available control methods, and the detection and management of pesticide resistance. Our team of researchers are investigating vector control approaches, mapping pesticide resistance, and evaluating innovative approaches for tick control and pathogen management.

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Invasive Species: Asian Longhorned Tick

Invasive Species - Asian Longhorned Tick: NEVBD supports a multi-institutional applied research program to answer pressing questions about the invasive Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. Our team is investigating optimal surveillance techniques for this species, identifying important aspects of tis ecology and overwintering biology, and acquiring critical knowledge on the vector potential of this tick for new and emerging human pathogens in the US.

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