Preventing the Zika Virus: Understanding and Controlling the Aedes Mosquito

Look at the science behind the Zika outbreak in order to try and understand where the virus has come from, its symptoms, their effect on infected individuals, and how it can be controlled.




Discover the science behind the Zika outbreak to understand how it is spread and can be controlled.

Overview - Preventing the Zika Virus

This course does not run anymore. The materials can be accessed via our LSHTM Open Educational Resources platform.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine together with the Arthropod Control Product Test Centre (arctec) are pleased to offer this new free online course. This course will be led by Dr James Logan.

About the course

The Zika virus is suspected to be the cause of cases of microcephaly in newborns in South America, and this outbreak has now been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. With global attention towards this disease increasing rapidly, it is becoming clear that there is limited knowledge around how the carriers, or vectors, of Zika, are best avoided and controlled.

Focus on the Zika virus

This free online course will begin by considering the science behind the outbreak to try to understand where the Zika virus has come from, its symptoms, and its effect on infected individuals. Our attention will then turn towards the vector primarily responsible for transmission of Zika: the Aedes mosquito.

Explore the biology of Aedes mosquitoes

We will introduce the Aedes mosquito and examine its lifecycle, behaviour, and distribution across the world, before reflecting upon the important role it plays in spreading Zika virus. Without a vaccine, prevention and control relies on reducing numbers of mosquitoes and the contact they have with people, so an understanding of the biology of Aedes is vital.

Discover vector control methods

A range of methods employed to control the Aedes mosquito will be highlighted, including the use, importance, and suitability of repellents, impregnated clothing, larval control, insecticide spraying, and insecticide treated nets. The vectors of Zika virus also transmit dengue, yellow fever and the chikungunya virus, meaning there is potential to apply these techniques in other settings.

Learn together and from those on the front line in South America

Learners will come from all over the world with their own diverse experiences and interests. You will have the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas through course discussion, and hear first-hand accounts from experts and individuals working in the field in South America. Contributors include:

  • Dr Mary Cameron, Reader in Medical Entomology
  • Dr Jo Lines, Reader of Malaria Control and Vector Biology
  • Professor Laura Rodrigues, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and working with the Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group in Brazil
  • Dr Robert Jones, Research Scientist and Trials Manager at arctec.

Support for Portuguese and Spanish speakers will be available throughout the course, including video subtitles, transcripts, and translations of other key materials.

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Requirements - Preventing the Zika Virus

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in learning about Zika virus vector control. It is relevant to workers newly drafted into vector control work, NGO employees in affected countries, students taking a healthcare or science-related degree, medical students and postgraduates wishing to complement their studies, and academic staff in aligned disciplines.

Course acknowledgements
Course acknowledgements - Preventing the Zika Virus


ARCTEC at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is a world-leading independent test centre for consultancy, and the evaluation and development of arthropod pest control technologies.  Its aim is to maintain this level of excellence and to continue to provide rapid and extensive services, from product development in the laboratory, to testing in semi-field and field conditions. arctec is an integral part of the Department of Disease Control at the School.