VectorNet: collaborative mapping of arthropod disease vectors in Europe and surrounding areas since 2010


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Wint G. W., Balenghien T., Berriatua E., Braks M., Marsboom C., Medlock J., ...More

Eurosurveillance, vol.28, no.26-29, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 26-29
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.2807/1560-7917.es.2023.28.26.2200666
  • Journal Name: Eurosurveillance
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Background: Arthropod vectors such as ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and biting midges are of public and veterinary health significance because of the pathogens they can transmit. Understanding their distributions is a key means of assessing risk. VectorNet maps their distribution in the EU and surrounding areas. Aim: We aim to describe the methodology underlying VectorNet maps, encourage standardisation and evaluate output. Methods: Vector distribution and surveillance activity data have been collected since 2010 from a combination of literature searches, field-survey data by entomologist volunteers via a network facilitated for each participating country and expert validation. Data were collated by VectorNet members and extensively validated during data entry and mapping processes. Results: As of 2021, the VectorNet archive consisted of ca 475,000 records relating to> 330 species. Maps for 42 species are routinely produced online at subnational administrative unit resolution. On VectorNet maps, there are relatively few areas where surveillance has been recorded but there are no distribution data. Comparison with other continental databases, namely the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and VectorBase show that VectorNet has 5–10 times as many records overall, although three species are better represented in the other databases. In addition, VectorNet maps show where species are absent. VectorNet’s impact as assessed by citations (ca 60 per year) and web statistics (58,000 views) is substantial and its maps are widely used as reference material by professionals and the public. Conclusion: VectorNet maps are the pre-eminent source of rigorously validated arthropod vector maps for Europe and its surrounding areas.