Western Gulf Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD)

Location: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Funded through December 2021

Key VBD Issues

Person observing a cloth for ticks after a tick drag.

A Western Gulf COE student trainee examines the cloth after performing a tick drag.

  • Mosquito-borne diseases: West Nile virus, dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis
  • Tick and flea-borne rickettsial diseases

By the Numbers

  • 3,000 vector control professionals trained
  • Three academic certificate programs hosted 31 undergraduate students
  • 40 graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in entomology
  • Tick surveillance and tickborne disease diagnostic testing newly implemented in 54 counties in Texas

Regional Resources

  • Annual conference with regional academic and public health partners


A group of people learning how to observe a mosquito dip.

Participants learn about mosquito larvae collection at a Western Gulf training.

  • Determining the public’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about local mosquito control programs in Texas
  • Developing an innovative diagnostic test for ehrlichiosis
  • Initiating a regional program where the public contributes information about their encounters with ticks and maintaining tick colony of regional species
  • Developing new laboratory method to reduce Zika testing from 72 hours to 24 hours

Major Collaborators

  • Four universities in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas
  • Six local health departments (county and city)
  • Texas Department of State Health Services

For More Information

Western Gulf COE websiteexternal icon