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vector-borne disease

A vector-borne disease is one in which the pathogenic microorganism is transmitted from an infected individual to another individual by an arthropod or other agent, sometimes with other animals serving as intermediary hosts. The transmission depends upon the attributes and requirements of at least three different living organisms: the pathologic agent, either a virus, protozoa, bacteria, or helminth (worm); the vector, which are commonly arthropods such as ticks or mosquitoes; and the human host. In addition, intermediary hosts such as domesticated and/or wild animals often serve as a reservoir for the pathogen until susceptible human populations are exposed. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)