How to tackle natural focal infections: From risk assessment to vaccination strategies

Luca Busani, Alexander E. Platonov, Onder Ergonul, Giovanni Rezza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Natural focal diseases are caused by biological agents associated with specific landscapes. The natural focus of such diseases is defined as any natural ecosystem containing the pathogen’s population as an essential component. In such context, the agent circulates independently on human presence, and humans may become accidentally infected through contact with vectors or reservoirs. Some viruses (i.e., tick-borne encephalitis and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever virus) are paradigmatic examples of natural focal diseases. When environmental changes, increase of reservoir/vector populations, demographic pressure, and/or changes in human behavior occur, increased risk of exposure to the pathogen may lead to clusters of cases or even to larger outbreaks. Intervention is often not highly cost-effective, thus only a few examples of large-scale or even targeted vaccination campaigns are reported in the international literature. To develop intervention models, risk assessment through disease mapping is an essential component of the response against these neglected threats and key to the design of prevention strategies, especially when effective vaccines against the disease are available.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • CCHF
  • Natural Focal Diseases
  • TBE
  • Vaccination
  • Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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