Midwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD)

Location: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Funded through December 2021

Key VBD Issues

Two people holding a mosquito trap.

Midwest COE student trainees display a mosquito trap.

  • Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases
  • West Nile virus disease (WNV)
  • Emerging VBDs: Jamestown Canyon, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Eastern equine encephalitis
  • Range expansion of Aedes albopictus mosquito, which can spread dengue, chikungunya, and other germs

By the Numbers

  • 450 public health professionals trained on VBD surveillance and control
  • 66 undergraduates and young professionals completed hands-on, long-term training in public health and vector control organizations in five states
  • 39 certificates in Public Health Entomology awarded to students and young professionals

Regional Resources

Person performs a tick drag with a cloth in a backyard.

Midwest COE student trainee performs a tick drag in a backyard.

  • Vector Records Repository houses surveillance and pathogen testing data for the region.
  • The Tick App, a mobile technology, pinpoints places of tick exposure and identifies ticks.
  • Digital channels connect VBD partners across the Midwest.
  • 2,800 Midwest residents participated in a multi-state survey to better understand knowledge and behavior related to ticks and tickborne diseases.
  • Mosquito control professionals learned how to perform insecticide resistance testing.


  • Searching for, and finding in 99 new counties, blacklegged ticks to document the change in their geographic spread
  • Developing new repellents and insecticides for homeowners to use for tick control in their yards
  • Establishing overall behaviors and lawn care practices for tick control by homeowners
  • Improving mosquito control for WNV prevention
  • Developing models to predict WNV outbreaks

Major Collaborators

  • Five academic institutions: University of Wisconsin- Madison, Iowa State University, Loyola University, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, and Michigan State University
  • Seven state health departments in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana
  • Six mosquito control districts: Northwest Mosquito Control, North Shore Mosquito Control, Metropolitan Mosquito Control, Macon Mosquito Control, Toledo Area Sanitary District, and Saginaw County Mosquito Control

For More Information

Midwest COE websiteexternal icon