The IU Environmental Resilience Institute has launched Project Vector Shield to understand and guard against disease-carrying organisms in Indiana.
“Changes in climate, temperature, and weather conditions, as well as human activities such as international travel, all contribute to the movement of disease vectors into a new region,” said Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology Keith Clay, a leader on Project Vector Shield. “But the only way to quickly detect new species or diseases entering an area is regular, long-term data collection.”
Ticks and mosquitoes will be collected five to six times per year from spring through fall for four years. The effort will focus on southern Indiana since most new diseases enter the state from the south due to rising global temperatures. The vectors will be analyzed to see whether they carry disease.