Towards harmonisation of entomological surveillance in the Mediterranean area

by Frédéric Jourdain, Abdallah M. Samy, Afrim Hamidi, Ali Bouattour, Bülent Alten, Chafika Faraj, David Roiz, Dušan Petrić, Elisa Pérez-Ramírez, Enkeledja Velo, Filiz Günay, Golubinka Bosevska, Ibrahim Salem, Igor Pajovic, Jelena Marić, Khalil Kanani, Lusine Paronyan, Maria-Grazia Dente, Marie Picard, Marija Zgomba, M’hammed Sarih, Nabil Haddad, Oleksandr Gaidash, Roena Sukhiasvili, Silvia Declich, Taher Shaibi, Tatiana Sulesco, Zoubir Harrat, Vincent Robert

Background

The Mediterranean Basin is historically a hotspot for trade, transport, and migration. As a result, countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea share common public health threats. Among them are vector-borne diseases, and in particular, mosquito-borne viral diseases are prime candidates as (re)emerging diseases and are likely to spread across the area. Improving preparedness and response capacities to these threats at the regional level is therefore a major issue.The implementation of entomological surveillance is, in particular, of utmost importance. Guidance in designing entomological surveillance systems is critical, and these systems may pursue different specific objectives depending on the disease.The purpose of the proposed review is to draw up guidelines for designing effective and sustainable entomological surveillance systems in order to improve preparedness and response. However, we make it clear that there is no universal surveillance system, so the thinking behind harmonisation is to define evidence-based standards in order to promote best practises, identify the most appropriate surveillance activities, and optimise the use of resources.Such guidance is aimed at policymakers and diverse stakeholders and is intended to be used as a framework for the implementation of entomological surveillance programmes. It will also be useful to collaborate and share information with health professionals involved in other areas of disease surveillance. Medical entomologists and vector control professionals will be able to refer to this report to advocate for tailored entomological surveillance strategies.The main threats targeted in this review are the vectors of dengue virus, chikungunya virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Rift Valley fever virus. The vectors of all these arboviruses are mosquitoes.

Methods

Current knowledge on vector surveillance in the Mediterranean area is reviewed. The analysis was carried out by a collaboration of the medical entomology experts in the region, all of whom belong to the MediLabSecure network, which is currently funded by the European Union and represents an international effort encompassing 19 countries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region.

Findings

Robust surveillance systems are required to address the globalisation of emerging arboviruses. The prevention and management of mosquito-borne viral diseases must be addressed in the prism of a One Health strategy that includes entomological surveillance as an integral part of the policy. Entomological surveillance systems should be designed according to the entomological and epidemiological context and must have well-defined objectives in order to effect a tailored and graduated response. We therefore rely on different scenarios according to different entomological and epidemiological contexts and set out detailed objectives of surveillance. The development of multidisciplinary networks involving both academics and public authorities will provide resources to address these health challenges by promoting good practises in surveillance (identification of surveillance aims, design of surveillance systems, data collection, dissemination of surveillance results, evaluation of surveillance activities) and through the sharing of effective knowledge and information. These networks will also contribute to capacity building and stronger collaborations between sectors at both the local and regional levels. Finally, concrete guidance is offered on the vector of the main arbovirus based on the current situation in the area.

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