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Infectious agents transmitted by arthropods (insects, ticks) have gained increasing attention in the last decade, also in Europe. The most spectacular event was the incursion of the African bluetongue virus, which was – unexpectedly - highly efficiently spread by indigenous biting midges. More recently, concerns about the incursion of West Nile virus and the Lumpy Skin Disease virus into Western Europe, including Switzerland, have arisen as these insect-borne viruses are spreading in Eastern Europe. Further, several exotic mosquito species have invaded Europe, and they are potential vectors of various disease agents. Our research unit, which was launched in 2007, focuses on experimental and descriptive research on various aspects of arthropod vectors (see ‘Research’):
Our unit acts as the Swiss reference laboratory for vectors related to epizootic and zoonotic diseases, as appointed by the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (BLV).