Neglected Tropical Vector-Borne Diseases

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Tropical vector-borne diseases pose a unique challenge to planetary health. Approximately 80% of the world population remains vulnerable to one or more of the vector-borne diseases. Vectors are insects or rodents, ranging from rats, mosquitos, mites to ticks and can transmit several tropical infections like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, leptospirosis and scrub typhus. The tropical Indian subcontinent, with its rising temperatures and longer transmission seasons, carries a heavy burden of vector-borne diseases, like malaria, chikungunya, and dengue.

Speaking about this, Dr.Gifty Immanuel who deals with tropical infections said ‘’Concurrent outbreaks with overlapping symptoms, significant mortality rates and increasing disease drivers all exacerbate the problem of vector-borne diseases in India. It represents a clinical conundrum. Few of the tropical diseases have effective vaccines. In the absence of immune-prophylaxis (vaccines), antimicrobials remain the mainstay for potentially fatal vector-borne diseases. Certain antibiotics are used as a therapeutic tool against susceptible vector-borne diseases. Tetracyclines have a long history of use and could reduce mortality in scrub typhus if used early. It could also serve as an efficacious prophylactic and therapeutic agent in all forms of malaria and leptospirosis. Arboviral inhibitory properties are also being increasingly recognized in dengue and chikungunya.

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