WHAT MAKES A VECTOR A VECTOR, AND WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT?
Mosquitoes and other arthropods can transmit pathogens that currently cause millions of cases of illness and over 700,000 deaths annually. For most of these, the most efficient prevention is mosquito (or vector) control. However, only a small number of mosquito species are responsible for pathogen transmission, and different species are important for different pathogens. Because mosquito (vector) control tends to be focused on specific species, it is critical to ensure that the control efforts are directed at the species that are actually involved in pathogen transmission in the real world. Therefore, it is important to understand what makes a vector a vector and the various factors that affect the ability of a potential “vector” to actually transmit a pathogen.