The chemical resistance in insects and other arthropods, the increased legislative restriction of the pesticide market and other causes such as anthropogenic factors (e.g. change in land use, habitat disturbances, etc.) and the climate change (with warmer winters at the northern limit of arthropod-vector species), are demanding new control technological options such as protective textiles to manage vector species and to minimize transmission risk of medical and veterinary diseases worldwide.
Ticks (Acari: Argasidae, Ixodidae) and Bedbugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) are obligate hematophagous arthropods, all juvenile stages and adults (male and female) feed on blood exclusively, being the humans hosts of several species all over the world. Both Non-pyrethroid and pyrethroid resistences have been extensible reported in bedbugs and ticks. New approaches of control and prevention are needed. This project is planned to develop new protective textiles against these arthropods.
On the one hand, ticks are well known like vectors of important medical and veterinary diseases, besides causing hurts and irritant bites. Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) in Europe are caused by bacteria and virus in humans and wild-domestic animals.
Some TDBs are endemic from European regions, and a few, by their highly-contagious potential (E.g. CCHF) should be notified immediately to public health Authorities in the European Union (EU). Eleven tick-borne human bacterial pathogens have been reported in Europe, responsible in humans of Anaplasmosis-Ehrlichioses, Lyme Borreliosis, Rickettsioses,Tick-borne relapsing fever and Tularaemia. EuropeanTick-borne human viruses include four flaviviruses (Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus (TBEV: it is the major European arboviruses), Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus, Louping ill virus, Powassan virus), one Nairoviruses (Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)) and one Coltiviruses (Eyach virus). In Europe most important species reported associated with humans are Dermacentor reticulatus, Ixodes ricinus, I. persulcatus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus, all of them known like vectors of animal and/or human pathogens.
Currently, these diseases are more usual than past years, mainly due to: climate change and so continuously new pathogens transmitted by ticks. Ticks can be found mostly in East Europe and Central Europe.
Bedbugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) have made a recent worldwide resurgence associated with human facilities. This has been attributed to increased international human travels, climate change, incorrect insecticide management and development of insecticide resistance (mainly to pyrethroids) . Primary bedbugs hosts are bats, birds and humans (the main species with human preference are: Cimex lectularius, C. hemipterus, C. columbarius, C. pipistrelli, C. dissimilis and Oeciacus hirundinis). C. lectularius and C. hemipterus are cosmopolite species, they look for humans and domestic animals to blood meals, and recent outbreaks have been reported all over the world, including North and South America, Australia, Asia, Canada and Europe.
Bedbugs are suspected of transmitting human infectious agents but, to our knowledge, despite transmissibility research, available data don't prove effective transmission under natural conditions. Cimicids can reduce quality of life by causing anxiety, discomfort, skin-disorders (from pruritic erythematous maculopapuleitchy to eruption mimics urticaria), sleeplessness, anemia (when they are numerous) and even anaphylaxis can also occur. There is an international concern for their vectorial capacity-competence [about 40-45 pathogens have been detected (wild and/or lab bedbugs), some ones as important as Chagas' disease, drug-resistant bacteria (MRSA, VRE) and Hepatitis B, C and D viruses; to date few effective experimental transmission in mice has already been demonstrated (E.g. Trypanosoma cruzi), their physical-psychological effects in bited people and their high incidence in strategic economic sectors such as tourism.
Although ticks and bedbugs are present in different environments, they have a similar behaviour, they can be affected by the same kind of biocides and both of them are carriers of diseases and can cause irritating bites. Nowadays the most used method is using a repellent-spray. These sprays contain biocides responsible of providing with protection to the user. There are not too many authorized repellents by the European Biocide Directive (98/8/EC). Many known active substances are not accepted for the European market due to their toxicity and/or their environmental impact. With this project, the current problems and lacks of obtaining protection against bugs (ticks and bedbugs) will be solved.