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Case Study: Vysnova Supports Efforts to Assess the Potential Vector Threat of Ectoparasite-Borne Infections in Mongolia


Project Purpose: 

This project’s purpose is to assess the potential vector threat of ectoparasite-borne infections in Mongolia to better inform the DoD (Department of Defense) force health protection policy-makers and provide host-nation public health personnel information to make informed diagnostic and treatment decisions. 

A special emphasis is made for tick collections as ticks are the primary vectors for several disease priorities of the U.S. military in the INDOPACOM Region including Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, Q fever, rickettsiosis, Lyme disease (borreliosis), tick-borne encephalitis, bartonellosis, and the novel severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV). 

Vysnova’s Work:

Vysnova provides support for the Government IRB study through comprehensive research to investigate the presence or emergence of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) of zoonotic importance in Mongolia. We ensure that this project is accomplished through The One Health approach, where animals (small mammals, domestic, and agricultural animals), ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, lice, etc.), and the environment are sampled from the same sites, and considered together to reveal the disease ecology of tick-borne disease in this country. Vysnova collaborates with a  number of partners such as George Mason University, Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, and the National Center for Zoonotic Diseases to have ectoparasite collected from various locations throughout Mongolia. Site selections for ectoparasites collections are established to encompass strategic locations to the US Military (US training grounds, and US operational locations), previously uncollected provinces, and some previously collected provinces, with an estimated 18-21 individual site locations collected throughout Mongolia.  

The Vysnova Impact: 

Vysnova’s main impact is to help address the knowledge gap in Ectoparasites (special emphasis on ticks)-biology, identification, and distribution in Mongolia. Characterize viral, bacterial, and other associated pathogens of collected specimens using molecular biology detection methods and provide the DoD access to reference specimens for future outbreak response operations or training scenarios.