Insect-borne diseases are one of the major causes of disease and death in the tropical world. Conventional methods of disease control have proven insufficient and there is pressing need for devising new strategies. One approach that has been explored by several laboratories is to compromise vector fecundity and survivorship through the immunization of vertebrate hosts with the vector's internal organs (concealed antigens). Here, Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena and Francisco J.A. Lemos critically review the results obtained to date by use of this approach. It appears that the published work is less rigorous than would be desirable and the results are contradictory. In contrast to the successes obtained with a similar immunization strategy implemented for tick-borne diseases, it is not yet clear whether or not such an approach can be applied to insect-borne diseases.
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