The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) selected nine projects for funding for the years 2017 – 2021. One of these projects, DUCAMID, focusses for a large part on St Eustatius.
With their dependence on tourism, the climatic conditions favouring mosquito establishment, and their central position in wildlife migratory routes, the Dutch Caribbean are potential hot spots for outbreaks of virus diseases spread by arthropod vectors (arboviruses), like Zika virus, yellow fever, and others.
DUCAMID will investigate the potential for incursion and spread of medically important arboviruses by studying resident mosquitos and hosts, their virome, and signatures for immune response in mosquitos and hosts as possible barriers to incursion and / or spread. The research also aims to develop tools for implementation in future risk-based surveillance targeting mosquitos and reservoir hosts that can be operated in local research institutes with a public health mandate. DUCAMID focusses on a comprehensive program of arbovirus preparedness research and brings together key players in Curacao and Sint Eustatius with partners in the Netherlands Centre for One Health, represented by Erasmus University Medical Centre as World Health Organisation collaborating centre for arboviruses and director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases research theme, and Wageningen University with its vector ecology research program. The partners involved in DUCAMID from the Dutch Caribbean islands play an important role in research on vector-borne diseases on the island of Curacao and are linked to regional research and public health expertise, thus securing a problem-oriented research agenda that is relevant to the disease problems in the region and translation of research findings in the same context.
Want to know more about the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute: Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute Newsletter.