Bluetongue virus (BTV) and Trypanosoma cruzi (T.cruzi) are two of the numerous vector borne diseases that cause diseases in human and animals. Bluetongue virus causes serious disease in cattle while Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease (Human American Trypanosomiasis), which can be potentially fatal to humans. Several control strategies have been implemented to deal with and avoid epidemics of BTV and T.cruzi in the UK and South America respectively. This essay will give an overview of the transmission cycle of each infectious agent and will present and attempt to compare the control strategies in a context of design and efficiency.
2. Bluetongue virus
2.1 The Organism and Transmission Cycle
Bluetongue virus belongs to the family Reoviridae and in the Orbivirus genus (Forzan et al, 2007. BTV, along with some other Orbivirus species are transmitted from one mammalian host to another via the biting of adult Culicoides midges (Takamatsu et al, 2003). What is interesting and yet not fully understood about BTV is that it has the ability to survive for 9-12 months in the absence of vectors (this phenomenon is called “overwintering” as it usually occurs during the winter), while the infected host appears to have no symptoms (Takamatsu et al, 2003).
The primary reservoir host is thought to be cattle and the virus can then spread to more susceptible species (Mullens et al, 1986). When Culicoides midges take a blood-meal from an animal that has been infected with Bluetongue virus, the virus undergoes replication in the midge’s body (Mullens et al, 1986). Ten to fourteen days later, when the midge takes another blood meal, the BTV can be introduced into another ruminant, such as cattle, sheep and wild ruminants an...
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Prata A (2001). Clinical and epidemiological aspects of Chagas disease. THE LANCET Infectious Diseases 1, 92-100
Takamatsu H, Mellor P.S, Mertens P.P.C, Kirkham P.A, Burroughs J.N & Parkhouse R.M.E. (2003). A possible overwintering mechanism for bluetongue virus in the absence of the insect vector. Journal of General Virology 84, 227-235
CDC, Chagas Disease URL:
[Accessed 2 October 2009]
UK Bluetongue Control Strategy URL:
[Accessed 30 September 2009]
WHO, Chagas Disease URL:
[Accessed 3 October 2009]
WHO/TDR Strategic Direction: Chagas disease( 2002) URL:
[Accessed 2 October 2009]
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