A review of the vector management methods to prevent and control outbreaks of West Nile virus infection and the challenge for Europe
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
West Nile virus infection is a growing concern in Europe. Vector management is often the primary option to prevent and control outbreaks of the disease. Its implementation is, however, complex and needs to be supported by integrated multidisciplinary surveillance systems and to be organized within the framework of predefined response plans. The impact of the vector control measures depends on multiple factors and the identification of the best combination of vector control methods is therefore not always straightforward. Therefore, this contribution aims at critically reviewing the existing vector control methods to prevent and control outbreaks of West Nile virus infection and to present the challenges for Europe.Most West Nile virus vector control experiences have been recently developed in the US, where ecological conditions are different from the EU and vector control is organized under a different regulatory frame. The extrapolation of information produced in North America to Europe might be limited because of the seemingly different epidemiology in the European region. Therefore, there is an urgent need to analyse the European experiences of the prevention and control of outbreaks of West Nile virus infection and to perform robust cost-benefit analysis that can guide the implementation of the appropriate control measures. Furthermore, to be effective, vector control programs require a strong organisational backbone relying on a previously defined plan, skilled technicians and operators, appropriate equipment, and sufficient financial resources. A decision making guide scheme is proposed which may assist in the process of implementation of vector control measures tailored on specific areas and considering the available information and possible scenarios.