Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mexico
Centro de Investigaciones Regionales (CIR) Hideyo Noguchi
Founded in 1975, at the initiative of Dr. Alberto Rosado G Cantón, Regional Research Center (C.I.R), is an institution with traditions, diverse by its professors and students with strong global perspective, that holds on the research, as the central element for the mainstreaming of knowledge
In 1983, the Arbovirology Laboratory was established with the intention of studying dengue viruses, which had been present in the Southeast area of Mexico since 1978 and in Yucatan since 1979. From that year, studies have been carried out in the affected areas, using virological, epidemiological and entomological tools. Since its inception, the arbovirology laboratory has maintained a great interest in supporting and participating with the authorities responsible for the surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases. It is clear from such interaction not only scientific articles published jointly but also the work of society in general.
Current changes in the transmission dynamics of vector-borne viruses, the arbovirology laboratory has not lagged and has adapted to global needs, acting in the timely detection of emerging viruses such as West Nile virus, chikungunya virus and lately investigating the introduction and spread of zika virus in the Yucatan area.
Contribution to the community within the framework of University Social Responsibility Research in the arbovirology laboratory has also resulted in a better understanding of infections caused by dengue viruses, West Nile virus, Cache Valley viruses, chikungunya virus among others. A clear contribution gained by the arbovirology laboratory has been made thanks to the study of the biology of several species of mosquitoes as potential vectors. Also is of great importance to us the dynamics of the transmission of these viruses in amplifying reservoirs that have been found in the wild, urban areas, and in captivity. Timely and accurate reporting, training of staff from different institutions, development of educational materials, and interaction with health authorities responsible for vector control, have contributed to raising awareness of the importance of these diseases in public health and have directly benefited our community. History, perspectives and opportunities for arboviruses research in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico Since the arrival of European colonizers to the New World, there has been evidence of the presence of arboviruses in the Yucatan peninsula. In the Mayan sacred book Popol Vuh, there are descriptions of "evil" that can be attributed to mosquito-borne diseases. This observation is confirmed by the Spaniard priest Diego de Landa who describes the constant interaction of Mayan people with monkeys. This evidence let to believe that the diseases could have been what we currently know as yellow fever, and described in Mayan culture as "xek ik", translated as black vomit. By the 60´s, yellow fever mobilized a team of researchers from the RockefeIler Foundation. Laboratories were established throughout the continent. The presence of VEE virus was detected and later, presence of VEE virus was confirmed in the Yucatan Peninsula. After that, antibodies against Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) and, Ilheus viruses were found. From those years, to the present, the Yucatan peninsula has experienced diverse introduction of several arboviruses, such as dengue, in the 80´s to the arrival of chikungunya and zika. The laboratory of arbovirology has been established to investigate along with several instances, the presence, epidemiology, vector ecology and diagnosis of these pathogens, but still; several questions are open to discussion and investigation. The problematic of arbovruses must be approach by a multidisciplinary team composed by virologist, entomologist, molecular biologists and anthropologist who working together in this task contribute to the control of this important diseases. This is the view of the arbovirology laboratory, where we believe that global problems must be attended using global strategies.