of diagnostic tests, as well as the development and use of rapid diagnostic tests, to determine the etiology of infection and thereby ensure the more appropriate use of antimicrobials.
FDA should ban the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion in animals if those classes of antimicrobials are also used in humans.
Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases remain major causes of morbidity and mortality in humans living in tropical climates, and represent a large portion of newly emerged diseases worldwide. Vector-borne and zoonotic pathogens have the ability to spread rapidly across broad geographical areas, as evidenced by the spread of West Nile virus across the United States. Exacerbating the situation is the potential for many vector-borne and zoonotic agents to be weaponized and used by terrorists. The national and international capacity to address these diseases must be strengthened by rebuilding the workforce and infrastructure, and developing the tools necessary to respond appropriately to such threats.
CDC, DOD, NIH, and USDA should work with academia, private organizations, and foundations to support efforts at rebuilding the human resource capacity at both academic centers and public health agencies in the relevant sciences—such as medical entomology, vector and reservoir biology, vector and reservoir ecology, and zoonoses— necessary to control vector-borne and zoonotic diseases.
DOD and NIH should develop new and expand upon current research efforts to enhance the armamentarium for vector control. The development of safe and effective pesticides and repellents, as well as novel strategies for prolonging the use of existing pesticides by mitigating the evolution of resistance, is paramount in the absence of vaccines to prevent most vector-borne diseases. In addition, newer methods of vector control—such as biopesticides and biocontrol agents to augment chemical pesticides, and novel strategies for interrupting vector-borne pathogen transmission to humans—should be developed and evaluated for effectiveness.
CDC, DOD, and NIH should work with state and local public health agencies and academia to expand efforts to exploit geographic information systems (GIS) and robust models for predicting and preventing the emergence of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases.