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MEDICAL ENTOMOLOGY - the study of diseases caused by arthropods
Public health entomology - arthropods and human health
Veterinary entomology - arthropods and pets, livestock and wildlife
Arthropods affect the health and well-being of humans and animals in several ways:
A. Direct Causes of Disease or Distress
B. Vectors or Hosts of Pathogenic Organisms
C. Natural Enemies of other medically harmful insects
History of Medical Entomology:
References to associations between humans and arthropods – historical
Microscope - Leeuwenhoek 1700’s
Infectious Disease - Koch et al. 1800’s
Arthropods and Insects
The phylum is probably monophyletic, but with 4 distinct groups.
It includes lobsters, crabs, shrimp, centipedes, millipedes, insects, ticks, and mites, and spiders.
There are over 1 million species of arthropods, making up the largest phylum in the animal kingdom.
THREE distinct body regions:
Head (feeding, sensory, CNS)
Thorax (locomotion, respiration)
Abdomen (feeding, reproduction)
are paired appendages usually located between or below the eyes.
Antennae vary greatly in size and form and are used in classifying and identifying insects. Some of the common antennae types are:
Other Medically Important Arthropods (non-insects)
Mite external anatomy
Tick internal anatomy
are different in various insect groups and are often used in classification and identification.
Concepts in Vector-Borne Disease
Geographic or host distribution of the parasite
Incidence of any given parasite and associated host
Parasite enhancement of transmission
Shorter life cycle of parasite = more frequent and more efficient transfer to be successful
dead-end (aberrant) host
Vector Biting Activity:
crepuscular - some animals that are primarily active during twilight, that is during dawn and dusk.
Host specificity (blood meal source):
anthropophilic - attraction for humans
anthropophagous - the eating of human flesh
ornithophilic - birds
zoophilic - affection or affinity for animals
exophagic – feed outdoors
endophagic - feed indoors
exophilic – rest outdoors
endophilic – rest indoors
Incubation periods (parasites):
extrinsic incubation period (in arthropod vector)
intrinsic incubation period (in vertebrate host)