MIDRP Overview History & Achievements Current Research Efforts External Programs

Program Overview:
Arthropod-borne diseases pose a significant threat to military forces and operations. Historically, almost every military campaign has been affected by vector-borne disease. Malaria and scrub typhus almost stopped allied efforts in the Pacific during WWII. Dengue fever was a cause of illness in troops deployed in support of Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia and UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti in the early 1990s. About 5% of a Ranger Task Force was diagnosed with malaria following deployments to Afghanistan in 2002. Over 25% of a group of Marines deployed to Liberia in 2003 suffered from malaria. According to laboratory records from our leishmania testing lab 2,841 cutaneous leishmaniasis cases have laboratory-confirmed from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (and likely double that number of unconfirmed cases). Military entomologists' actions to evaluate the risk from leishmaniasis in Iraq were instrumental in developing surveillance and sand fly control programs and probably resulted in fewer cases than otherwise were reported. The costs associated with vector-borne infections in terms of medical evacuations and lost duty time are enormous.

The goal of Program Area U is to develop products that can be used to protect deployed military personnel from biting arthropods (e.g., mosquitoes, sand flies, ticks, chiggers). By protecting deployed military personnel from biting arthropods the risk of acquiring an arthropod-borne disease such as malaria, dengue or any of the other arthropod-borne threat agents listed can be greatly reduced. Reduction in nuisance bites (distinct from bites in which disease transmission occurs) can also be a significant benefit.

Vector Control | Diagnostic Systems