Assessment of the public health threats posed by vector-borne disease in the United Kingdom (UK)

Jolyon Medlock, Kayleigh Hansford, Alexander Vaux, Benjamin Cull, Emma Gillingham, Stephen Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

16 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, the known distribution of vector-borne diseases in Europe has changed, with much new information also available now on the status of vectors in the United Kingdom (UK). For example, in 2016, the UK reported their first detection of the non-native mosquito Aedes albopictus, which is a known vector for dengue and chikungunya virus. In 2010, Culex modestus, a principal mosquito vector for West Nile virus was detected in large numbers in the Thames estuary. For tick-borne diseases, data on the changing distribution of the Lyme borreliosis tick vector, Ixodes ricinus, has recently been published, at a time when there has been an increase in the numbers of reported human cases of Lyme disease. This paper brings together the latest surveillance data and pertinent research on vector-borne disease in the UK, and its relevance to public health. It highlights the need for continued vector surveillance systems to monitor our native mosquito and tick fauna, as well as the need to expand surveillance for invasive species. It illustrates the importance of maintaining surveillance capacity that is sufficient to ensure accurate and timely disease risk assessment to help mitigate the UK’s changing emerging infectious disease risks, especially in a time of climatic and environmental change and increasing global connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2145
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2018


  • Arbovirus
  • Lyme
  • Mosquito
  • Tick
  • UK
  • Vector-borne disease


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