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Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases

Goal: Strengthen effective collaborations among our consortium of academic scientists and public health organizations at the federal, state, and local levels to optimize vector-borne disease (VBD) surveillance, prevention, and response.

Visit the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Livestock Veterinary Entomology website to view some of our outreach activities, particularly with regard to the evaluation and understanding of insects that bite and feed on livestock and companion animals.

The Western Gulf Center for Vector-Borne Diseases (WGCVBD) will serve as a catalyst to bridge partnerships among federal, state, and local agencies to improve response and manage emerging VBD. We will organize a Vector-borne Disease Education Community of Practice, a partnership focused on disease prevention education and including representation from city, county, and, state public health agencies, public/private vector control and professional organizations, federal agencies (e.g. CDC, USDA, FDA, DoD and EPA), and academia. The focus will be vector management, bite prevention, and the integration of expertise to improve the management of VBDs. Further, some areas within the Gulf region have small mosquito control communities or insufficient funds to establish or sustain vector control management. A critical focus of the Center will be to enhance these operations and complement existing mosquito identification and arbovirus diagnostic services.

Finally, the Center will develop protocols that allow city and county agencies to adequately test intervention efficacy. As in other areas of the U.S., Gulf region mosquito control interventions are commonly implemented but infrequently with well-designed estimates of efficacy. We will address this problem by building partnerships between our academic units and agencies engaged in mosquito control, and performing a spectrum of studies from observational to non-randomized controlled trials. Based on the results of these evidence-based vector control studies, the Center will guide local agencies on how effective current approaches are and what modifications should be made to further improve the management of VBD.