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TM5518 - Medical Entomology

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Public Health, Medical and Vet Sciences

Arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes, flies and ticks, transmit diseases to a billion people each year with associated annual mortality of more than a million. A few diseases have been eradicated or controlled to some degree; however, many are now re-emerging on a global scale due to a lack of vector specialists, insecticide resistance, diversion of funds to other diseases, and lack of treatment. This multidisciplinary subject was developed because the practice of public health is demanding an increasing understanding of the relationship between human health and arthropod vectors. Public health professionals will be increasingly relied upon for assistance in formulating strategic eradication or control policies and will be required to explain the human implications of these policies to the public. Students will acquire knowledge, professional attitudes and skills required for vector-borne disease management by learning about the biology, surveillance and control of disease vectors. Topic areas will focus on the basics of vector biology (particularly of mosquitoes) and this knowledge will be applied to a number of important issues affecting vector borne diseases, including the emergence and spread of vector and associated pathogens, vector control and elimination, and climate change. The course will focus on the transmission of several of the dominant regional vector borne diseases, especially dengue, Zika Ross River fever,lymphatic filariasis and malaria with a focus on efforts to eliminate both malaria and lymphatic filariasis.

Learning Outcomes

  • compare the interactions among arthropods, vectors, pathogens, environments, reservoirs, humans, cultures and public health with an understanding of how vector behaviours impact the effectiveness of interventions to prevent the transmission of human diseases;
  • develop an understanding of the extent of health problems related to disease-bearing arthropods;
  • critique the evidence relating to various medically important vectors via a thorough understanding of vector biodynamics, behaviour and transmission capacity;
  • define and solve problems relating to the management of vectors implicated in the transmission of disease;
  • critically analyse vector management strategies in relation to resources and policies.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Essay (including multi-draft) 1 - (35%) - Individual
  • Written > Examination (College administered) - (45%) - Individual
  • Written > Critical appraisal/review - (20%) - Individual.

Special Assessment Requirements

Submit all assessment items; Achieve an overall percentage of 50% or more.


Cairns, Study Period 2, Mixed attendance
Census Date 24-Aug-2023
Face to face teaching (TBC)
Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Sue Devine, Mr Dave Sellars
Lecturer: Dr Tamara Buhagiar.
Workload expectations:
  • 130 hours specialised - Self directed online learning and assessment
Restrictions: Enrolment in this offering is restricted.

Cairns, Study Period 2, External
Census Date 24-Aug-2023
Coordinator: Mr Dave Sellars
Lecturer: Dr Tanya Russell.
Workload expectations:
  • 130 hours online activity - Self directed online learning and assessment
Method of Delivery: WWW - LearnJCU

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.