About Division of Vector-borne Diseases

At a glance

NCEZID's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) works to identify and respond to vector-borne diseases that affect human health domestically and globally.

Our mission

DVBD's mission is to protect people from illness, suffering, and death due to vector-borne diseases.


  • Identify and detect vector-borne pathogens that cause diseases in people
  • Understand when, where, how often, and how people are exposed to vector-borne pathogens
  • Prevent exposure to vector-borne pathogens and mitigate consequences of infection
  • Implement vector-borne disease diagnostics, surveillance, control, and prevention programs

Why it matters

Americans are at an increasing risk of vector-borne diseases, and the United States is not adequately prepared to respond to these threats. Vector-borne pathogens are spread to people and animals primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea. Only a few mosquito-borne viruses can be prevented with vaccines. In most cases, people need to protect themselves from mosquito, tick, and flea bites to prevent infection.

Our work

We strive to protect the nation from viruses and bacteria spread by mosquitoes, ticks, or fleas.

  • Identify and respond to emerging and newly discovered pathogens threatening the United States and the world.
  • Develop and improve diagnostic tests and serve as a global reference laboratory for vector-borne pathogens.
  • Develop and evaluate vaccines for dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and other vector-borne viruses and bacteria.
  • Train domestic and global public health workers to prevent, diagnose, and control vector-borne diseases.
  • Conduct surveillance and monitor the impact and spread of vector-borne diseases.
  • Discover vector-borne pathogens by using traditional laboratory methods and advanced molecular detection methods.


Portrait of Lyle Petersen, MD, MPH
Lyle Petersen, MD, MPH
Division of Vector-borne Diseases
Lyle Petersen, MD, MPH, Director

Lyle Petersen, MD, MPH, is the director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.