Caister Academic Press

Arbovirology: Back to the Future

Robert B. Tesh and Charles H. Calisher
from: Arboviruses: Molecular Biology, Evolution and Control (Edited by: Nikos Vasilakis and Duane J. Gubler). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 385-390.


This chapter briefly reviews the origins and development of arbovirology as a discipline and the changes that have occurred in the focus, techniques and orientation of arbovirus research over time. Arbovirus research was initially patient- or disease-oriented and the focus was mainly on diagnosis, treatment and control. Currently, arbovirus research is primarily focused on the pathogenetic aspects of arboviral diseases and on the structural and genetic characteristics of their etiologic agents. The early emphasis on field work, virus isolation and shoe leather epidemiology has been largely replaced by laboratory-based molecular and genetic studies, non-cultural diagnostic techniques and computer modeling of arboviral cycles and outbreaks. Both types of research (field and laboratory-based) provide valuable insights into the emergence, prevention and control of arboviral diseases, but the older classical methods have recently fallen into disfavor. Some of the contributing factors leading to this situation are discussed and recommendations are provided on how to better balance the teaching, funding and practice of arbovirology read more ...
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