Parasitic strategies of arthropods of medical and veterinary importance

Filippo Di Giovanni, André B.B. Wilke, John C. Beier, Marco Pombi, Jairo Alfonso Mendoza-Roldan, Nicolas Desneux, Angelo Canale, Andrea Lucchi, Filipe Dantas-Torres, Domenico Otranto, Giovanni Benelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Arthropoda is the animal phylum that includes the largest number of animal species on Earth. Several arthropods are of medical and veterinary significance in terrestrial ecosystems, some of them playing a crucial role in the transmission of pathogens, which may infect and eventually cause diseases in a wide range of vertebrates, including humans, pets, live-stock, and wildlife. Nevertheless, a clear categorization of the parasitic strategies carried out by arthropods of medical and veterinary interest is still lacking. Herein, according to an earlier discussion within the scientific community and based on the parasitic strategy implemented, we suggest that terrestrial parasitic arthropods of medical and veterinary interest should be classified into three categories: (i) trophically transmitted parasites (pentastomids), (ii) directly transmitted parasites (sucking lice, chewing lice, itch mites, and skin mites) and (iii) micropredators, with a further division within the category micropredators to distinguish between short-term (blood-sucking or secretophagous flies, bed bugs, kissing bugs, fleas, and ticks) and long-term (chigoe fleas and myiasis-causing larvae) micropredators. A thorough understanding and consensual categorization of the parasitic strategies adopted by arthropods of medical and veterinary significance may pave the way for future multidisciplinary basic to applied research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-522
Number of pages12
JournalEntomologia Generalis
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Bed bugs
  • Bot flies
  • Directly transmitted parasites
  • Fleas
  • Kissing bugs
  • Lice
  • Micropredators
  • Mosquitoes
  • Myasis-causing larvae
  • Pentastomids
  • Sand flies
  • Ticks
  • Trophically transmitted parasites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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