What is a Disease Vector?

Disease vectors or disease vector species are something that you may have heard about when referencing various infectious pathogens, such as malaria. 

In our line of work at Wildlife x Team International, we must be aware and updated on what creatures are disease vector species, and how to handle them for ours and our clients’ safety. 

In today’s post, we’ll be sharing with you what a disease vector is, is not, and some examples of disease vectors. 

Our video version of this post includes fascinating footage of microorganisms at work, which you can watch now by clicking here! 

Alternatively, feel free to download the podcast by pressing the download button above. 

Math Vectors?

First, no- we’re not referencing vectors in Math, though the two are the same in the method of action. 

What is a Disease Vector

A disease vector is an Agent that an infectious pathogen uses to transmit from one organism to another. 

Now, that might sound a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down and give some examples. 

The Agent can be anything that the disease uses to spread. It is often other creatures. 

Simply put: the Vector is a way that a disease can spread! 

Disease Vector Species

Some of the most common forms of disease vectors are other creatures. These are called “disease vector species.” 

In fact, one of the “deadliest” creatures in the world- the mosquito- is deadly only because it is a disease vector for other deadly pathogens, such as malaria. 

In the example of mosquitoes, they aren’t inherently dangerous. One bite won’t kill you. Even 5 won’t! 

However, mosquitoes can transmit malaria from person to person via blood, therefore Malaria uses mosquitoes as a “vector” to spread from person to person. 

Sometimes the pathogen will enter into a symbiotic state with a particular creature, remaining dormant or at the least not killing the Vector. 

In these cases the pathogen has the opportunity to transmit to several other creatures. 

More Examples of Disease Vector Species

Besides the mosquito, there are all kinds of vector species. For example, raccoons are a “rabies vector species,” meaning that rabies often uses raccoons in order to spread. 

Bats are also a common vector species, typically transmitting viruses via bites to humans. 

What This Means For You

This is why it’s quite important to NOT get bit by a wild animal or creature; the bite itself is not typically deadly or dangerous. 

However, the bite CAN lead to infection, or worse transmission of a deadly illness. 

For this reason it’s important to avoid wild creatures, and it’s why we take so seriously safety when dealing with wild creatures. 

Wildlife x Team

If you think you have a wildlife or pest-related problem, please contact us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com and we’ll be sure to help you out! 

-Wildlife x Team International 

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