Diseases Spread by Insects or Ticks

Mary E. Miller

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Vector borne diseases transmitted through ticks and mosquitos cause seri ous loss of life and signi cantly impact human populations worldwide. Each of these diseases is caused by a distinct pathogen, and symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of infection. The spread of these diseases occur through the blood meals of tick or mosquitos, where the pathogen gains access to the human body, usually triggering an immune response that contributes to disease progression. Understanding the interdependence of pathogen to disease vector along with transmission route to humans shapes our diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

This book focuses on  ve distinct examples of vector borne disease: Malaria, West Nile, Lyme disease, dengue fever, and bubonic plaque. Malaria involves the mosquito vector and occurs when mosquito trans mit the Plasmodium parasite to humans. West Nile and dengue fever also involve different mosquito vectors, but in this case transmission of the West Nile virus or dengue fever virus cause disease. Fleas transmit the bubonic plague causing bacterium Y. pestis. Lyme disease results from the transmission of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi to humans through the bit of a tick. In each case we consider current and future issues related to disease progression, diagnosis, and treatments.

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Mary E. Miller

Mary E. Miller is a professor of biology at Rhodes College, Tennessee, where she teaches introductory biology, genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, and topical seminars on cancer and has served as the director of the biochemistry and molecular biology program. Dr. Miller studies cell division and key regulators of the cell division cycle and has been awarded the Rhodes College Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research or Creative Activity.