Many tropical infectious agents are transmitted by bloodsucking arthropods (so-called vectors), including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, mites or bugs. In particular, viruses such as the West Nile, Dengue or Zika viruses, but also pathogens causing malaria or sleeping sickness, are among the pathogens that are transmitted by arthropod vectors.
To research the interactions between vectors and pathogens, the BNITM maintains various arthropod breeding facilities and has been operating a Biological Security Level 3 (BSL-3) safety insectarium since 2012. Here, for example, studies are conducted on the vector competence of mosquitoes with different tropical viruses. This laboratory contains special structural safety features, such as separate access regulations, staggered negative pressure and a personal air shower. Here, arthropod infection experiments with pathogens up to protection level 3 can be carried out.