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A One Health approach to predict, monitor and prevent arbovirus infections, an extensive case study from the Netherlands – Editorial

This publication is part of the project ‘Preparing for vector-borne virus outbreaks in a changing world: a One Health Approach’ (NWA.1160.1S.210) which is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Authors: Reina S. SikkemaMaarten SchramaBarry RockxMarion Koopmans

This article proposes the “One Health” approach to deal with diseases spread by insects like mosquitoes. It uses the Netherlands as an example to study how these diseases emerge. The research looks at factors like the environment, animals, and insects to understand how these diseases happen. Scientists are trying to find ways to prevent these diseases and develop vaccines. Working together and involving “citizen scientists” in research is crucial to finding solutions to these diseases. Citizen scientists refer to members of the public who actively contribute to scientific research and data collection.


The pandemic of COVID-19 and the expanding outbreak of Mpox have confronted the world with a risk that had already been highlighted in the years before: the increasing likelihood of new, disruptive global infectious disease outbreaks. Climate change is believed to be a general risk factor for the emergence of novel pathogens and increase in human infections [1,2]. Especially arthropod borne (arbo) infections seem to be influenced by changing temperatures and precipitation [3]. An example of an unexpected arbovirus disease outbreak was the Zika outbreak in 2015 [4]. Zika was first discovered in non-human primates in 1947 in Uganda, but the first known human outbreaks were not reported until 2007, in Gabon and the Pacific [5]. However, the later epidemic spread of Zika virus to a much wider geographic region, was unexpected and led to a devastating epidemic of infant disability in the Americas, resulting from infections of mothers during pregnancy. Moreover, genomic epidemiology studies found that the time of introduction of the virus into the Americas was at least one year before the first cases were detected, as the mild clinical presentation in most cases had not raised any flags and Zika virus diagnostics were not routinely available [6]. Despite massive efforts to contain this outbreak, it spread seemingly unabated and highlighted systemic problems in the level of preparedness with insufficient capacity for essential public health work. Other arboviruses, such as West Nile Virus (WNV), dengue virus (DENV), yellow fever virus (YFV) have also increased in prevalence and geographical distribution in recent years [7,8].

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Source: ScienceDirect

Date: October 1, 2023