Arbovirus is an informal name used to refer to any viruses that are transmitted by arthropods, a phylum of animals including mosquitoes, ticks, mites and other insects. These viruses cause some of the most dangerous diseases to both public health and deployed Service Members including dengue, Zika, tick-borne encephalitis and others, causing millions of infections each year. AFRIMS works with regional partners to identify, characterize and overcome arboviruses by developing pharmacological and public health strategies. With a changing climate that makes more areas of the world more favorable to arthropods for more months of the year, arboviruses will continue to be a significant threat to force health protection. These activities include developing and testing novel vaccines, diagnostics and drugs to prevent and treat disease as well as insect control strategies to prevent virus-carrying mosquitoes from proliferating.
AFRIMS research locations have made significant contributions to the study of arboviruses. It maintains several sites across southeast Asia to study community transmission of vector-borne diseases like dengue, has conducted pivotal clinical trials which supported the development and sometimes licensure of vaccines against dengue and Japanese encephalitis and supports military exercises within the U.S. Indo-Pacific area of responsibility to equip medical providers to understand disease threats in theater.