The Upper Midwest is a highly varied place - a land of many lakes and rivers, deep forests and rolling prairies, scorching summers and frigid winters, large cities and thousands of farms. Our landscape, vegetation, weather, and land use make the region an exciting and productive place to live, but also provide ample habitat for many kinds of mosquitoes and ticks.
Mosquitoes and ticks that actively carry disease-causing organisms to people and animals are called vectors. Researchers and public health officials have been collaborating for years across the Upper Midwest to identify, understand and respond to human and animal health concerns surrounding vector-borne diseases (VBD) like Lyme disease, LaCrosse encephalitis virus, and West Nile virus. Now, thanks to funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease (MCE-VBD) is helping partners from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois build region-wide solutions to the problem of VDB. The center has three main goals:
The Midwest needs more public health entomologists, people who understand mosquitoes, ticks, and the diseases they carry. Combining the strengths of world-class academic institutions and government and private-sector partners with decades of experience controlling VBD, MCE-VBD is running a Certificate in Public Health Entomology along with continuing education workshops for current public health and vector control professionals.
In each of the 5 states represented in the MCE-VBD, academic and public health partners have been working together for decades to detect new diseases, understand the role of vectors in transmission, and find ways to effectively survey and control vectors. The MCE-VBD gives us new opportunity to expand our connections regionally to strengthen our capacity to respond to VBD outbreaks and climate and weather events that alter mosquito and tick activity.
Research on vector surveillance and control
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the mosquitoes and ticks that are already here. There's also much to be learned about how climate change and human movement will continue to bring new species of mosquitoes and ticks and their associated diseases into the Midwest. MCE-VBD partners are conducting dozens of research projects aimed at understanding what mosquitoes and ticks are out there, in what numbers, and what diseases they are carrying.
Upper Midwestern Regional Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease (MCE-VBD)
c/o Dept. of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
1656 Linden Dr.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706