Vectors are living organisms that can transmit pathogens from one host to another. They act as intermediaries in the transmission of infectious diseases, transporting the pathogen from an infected individual (the reservoir) to a susceptible individual (the new host). Vectors can be arthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, or other animals, such as rodents.
Vector-borne diseases are commonly associated with insect or arthropod vectors that act as carriers for pathogens. For example, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, and West Nile virus, while ticks are responsible for spreading Lyme disease.
Diseases which can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice-versa are called zoonotic diseases.
Reservoirs and Carriers: Animals that carry zoonotic diseases without necessarily transmitting them to other hosts are considered reservoirs or carriers. These animals may host the infectious agents in their bodies and can serve as a source of infection for humans and other animals. However, they do not play an active role in transmitting the disease from one individual to another. For example, rodents can be reservoirs for hantaviruses, and birds can be reservoirs for avian influenza.
The table below gives the names of vectors/reservoirs and associated diseases
|Tsetse fly||Sleeping Sickness|
|Sand fly||Kala Azar|
|Aedes Mosquito||Dengue, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya|
|Culex Mosquito||West Nile Fever|
|Dogs, Bats, Raccoons||Rabies|
|Animals in general||Anthrax|
|Rabbits, Hares & Rodents||Tularemia|
|Poultry||Avian Influenza or Bird Flu|
|Pigs (through Culex mosquitoes)||Japanese Encephalitis|
|Ticks||Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Lyme|
|Fruit bats||Nipah virus infection|