VectorNet's First Annual Entomological Network Meeting
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This report describes the structure, contents and outcomes of the first Annual Entomological Network Meeting organized by VectorNet, a European Network for Medical and Veterinary Entomology, held 10–12 March 2020 in Amersfoort the Netherlands. In this meeting, entomological network members and national public and animal health professionals were introduced to the project, the contracting organizations (EFSA, ECDC) and the members of the VectorNet consortium. The focus of the meeting was on VectorNet networking strategies and the involvement of the entomological network members in risk assessments. An overview of ongoing and planned work was given and discussed.
The objectives of the project include consolidating the existing European network, to provide scientific support to both ECDC and EFSA in their risk assessments of vectors and vector‐borne diseases and to update information on the geographic distribution, abundance and seasonality of targeted arthropod vectors in EU/EEA and neighbouring countries. The target vector groups are mosquitoes, ticks, biting midges, sand flies, and a group of ‘others‘, including fleas and lice. VectorNet will contribute to systematic reviews and the integration of existing databases on vector distribution. The creation of a strong connection between medical and veterinary entomologists is an important step towards implementation of the one health paradigm to fight against and prevent the emergence and spread of VBDs to new areas in Europe. Operating on an open data platform, the project welcomes entomologists to contribute data on vector presence and density.