Insects and the transmission of bacterial agents

Maureen Laroche, Didier Raoult, Philippe Parola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arthropods are small invertebrate animals, among which some species are hematophagous. It is during their blood meal that they can transmit pathogenic microorganisms that they may be harboring to the vertebrate host that they parasitize, which in turn will potentially develop a vector-borne disease. The transmission may occur directly through their bite, but also through contaminated feces. Zoonotic diseases, diseases that can naturally be transmitted between humans and animals, are a considerable part of emerging diseases worldwide, and a major part of them are vector-borne. Research and public attention has long been focused on malaria and mosquito-borne arboviruses, and bacterial vector-borne diseases remains today a neglected field of medical entomology. Despite the emphasis on Lyme disease in recent decades, and despite the major outbreaks caused by bacteria in the last few centuries, this field has in fact been poorly explored and is therefore relatively poorly known, other than the most famous examples such as the plague and epidemic typhus outbreaks. Here we propose to review the state of knowledge of bacterial agents transmitted by arthropod vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberMTBP-0017-2016
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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