Books (co)authored by me

Het beste idee van 2014

I contributed a chapter for the book series 'The best idea of 201x' in this case for 'The best idea of 2014'. I wrote about the need for an international fund of 5 billion $, brought together by UN member states (proportionate to their GNP). A fund that should never fall short of 5 billion - so that whenever outbreaks like the Ebola outbreak in W Africa occur, immediate action can be taken and sufficient resources are available.

Editor: Jos Baijens

Healthy Homes in Tropical Zones: Improving Rural Housing in Asia and Africa (2014)

I contributed to this book, authored by Jakob Knudsen and Lorenz von Seidlein. The book focuses on house design in four tropical countries (The Gambia, Tanzania, Philippines and Thailand), and indoor climate and disease risk (notably for malaria) is studied in great detail. Numerous pictures (by Rasmus Bruun and Konstantin Ikonomidis, who also undertook the research; with final contributions from Eamanuel Naboni)) make this a wonderful book on this subject. See the attached flyer for a flavour of the book, or follow this link:­buch/­Knudsen_Healthy-Homes.pdf

Flyer Healthy_Homes_summarysmallpdf.pdf

Olfaction in vector-host interactions (2010)

Takken, W. and Knols, B.G.J. (Eds.). Olfaction in vector-host interactions. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 432 pp.

This is a multi-authored book with a focus on the role of olfaction (the sense of smell) in the multitude of interactions between arthropods and their blood hosts.

Blood-feeding arthropods (mostly insects, ticks and mites) depend on a vertebrate host for survival and reproduction. Their evolutionary success depends on how efficiently they can detect the presence of a host and actively locate it to obtain a blood meal. This is the domain of olfaction, which is perhaps the most important mode of signal exchange between hosts and blood-feeding arthropods that visit them. Important human and animal diseases like malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, bluetongue and trypanosomiasis are transmitted between humans and/or animals as a direct outcome of olfactory responses mediated by host odours. Increased understanding of olfaction and how this governs interactions between arthropods and blood hosts will enable the development of novel strategies to disrupt this behaviour. For example, many species of tsetse fly respond over distance to simple blends of synthetic odours. Combined with traps or insecticide-treated targets, such odour-baited devices can effectively suppress fly populations and thus transmission of sleeping sickness. Such systems still need to be developed for disease-vectoring mosquitoes, flies and ticks, necessitating further knowledge on the chemical basis of interactions with their vertebrate hosts.

In 18 peer-reviewed chapters, recognized experts provide a state-of-the-art overview of olfaction in vector-host interactions, from the molecular to population biology level. A wide range of arthropods is discussed, including mosquitoes, black flies, sand flies, tsetse flies, blood-feeding bugs and ticks. Novel ideas, definition of research gaps, and a collection of the most recent studies will be of value to biology students, chemical ecologists, as well as those implementing vector control programmes.

Table of Contents:­_clientfiles/­TOC/­ecvd-02.pdf?sg=%7BC1C8271C-0EB3-4B2B-B0A0-0D2B7757DF2B%7D

This book is available as an Open Access e-book (for free):­ecvd-02-e

‘Mug: De fascinerende wereld van volksvijand nummer I (2009)

Mosquito: The fascinating world of public enemy nr. 1. Nieuw Amsterdam Publisher, 256 pp. [in Dutch: ‘Mug: De fascinerende wereld van volksvijand nummer I’] - 4th Edition (2011).

Read all about this book here:­publications/­mug/­index.html

“Bart is een bevlogen en zeer getalenteerde auteur, wiens urgente, even spannend als geestig geschreven boek 'Mug. De fascinerende wereld van volksvijand nummer 1' ik met veel plezier als redacteur bij Nieuw Amsterdam heb begeleid. Bart houdt zich altijd aan zijn afspraken en is altijd goed bereikbaar, waar ter wereld hij zich ook bevindt. Hij is een geboren verteller, zeker als het gaat om zijn avontuurlijke wederwaardigheden als baanbrekend muggenonderzoeker in vele uithoeken van de wereld. Hij kan ook de media en zalen moeiteloos aan.

Doordat Bart zo'n groot en internationaal vooraanstaand specialist op muggengebied is, heeft hij een vooruitziende - en verontrustende - visie kunnen ontwikkelen op de gevaren die (tijger)muggen voor onze volksgezondheid hebben, zeker zolang het internationale preventiebeleid dienaangaande niet ingrijpend wordt verbeterd. Er zou veel meer naar Bart geluisterd moeten worden. Niet alleen om hóé hij vertelt, maar vooral ook om wát hij vertelt.” - Pieter de Bruijn Kops, Acquirerend Redacteur, Nieuw Amsterdam.

Emerging Pests and Vector-Borne Diseases in Europe (2007)

Takken, W. and Knols, B.G.J. Emerging Pests and Vector-Borne Diseases in Europe. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 500 pp.
This is a multi-authored book concerning the perceived threat and recorded increase of emerging pests and vector-borne diseases affecting man and animals in Europe.

Historically, Europe suffered from numerous pests and vector-borne diseases, including yellow fever, malaria, plague and typhus. Introduction of hygienic measures, drugs and vector control caused the disappearance of many of these diseases from Europe. In the (sub)tropics, however, many of these diseases still thrive, causing serious health problems for humans and animals. Increased trade, leading to animal and human movement and climate change cause reason to assume that several of these diseases might become re-established or allow 'new' diseases and pests to be introduced in Europe. The recent outbreaks of bluetongue virus in North-western Europe highlights this concern, requiring an effective surveillance systems for the early detection of pests and vector-borne diseases.

In 24 chapters this book provides examples of the most likely pests and diseases affecting man and animals in Europe, with emphasis on ecological factors favouring these diseases and methods for prevention and intervention. The authors are recognized experts in specific fields. All chapters are peer reviewed.

Table of Contents:­_clientfiles/­TOC/­ecvd-01.pdf

This book is available as an Open Access e-book (for free):­ecvd-01-e

Review of this book in Emerging Infectious Diseases Rev_Emer_EID.pdf

Bridging laboratory and field research for genetic control of disease vectors (2006)

Knols, B.G.J. & Louis, C. (Eds.). Bridging laboratory and field research for genetic control of disease vectors. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 225 pp.

Contemporary research on genetic control of disease-transmitting insects knows two kinds of scientists: those that work in the laboratory and those known as ‘field people’. Over the last decade, both groups seem to have developed differing research priorities, address fundamentally different aspects within the overall discipline of infectious-disease control, and worse, have developed a scientific ‘language’ that is no longer understood by the ‘other’ party. This gap widens every day, between the North and the South, between ecologists and molecular biologists, geneticists and behaviourists, etc. The need to develop a common research agenda that bridges this gap has been identified as a top priority by all parties involved. Only then shall the goal of developing appropriate genetic-control strategies for vectors of disease become reality.

This book is the reflection of a workshop, held in Nairobi (Kenya) in July 2004, that addressed the above issues. It brought together a good representation of both the molecular and ecological research disciplines and, for the first time, included a significant number of researchers from disease-endemic countries. The research agenda presented here will serve the research and science-policy communities alike, and guide sponsoring organizations with the selection of priority areas for research funding.

This book is available as an Open Access e-book (for free):­frontis/­disease_vectors/­toc.html