On August 20, we celebrate World Mosquito Day, a global commemoration of Sir Ronald Ross’ discovery in 1897 that female Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting malaria parasites. But mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting other potentially life-threatening diseases such as Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya. Vector-borne diseases account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases worldwide and cause over 700,000 deaths every year. Malaria alone killed more than 600,000 people in 2021, and 60% of the global population is expected to be at risk of contracting dengue fever by 2080. 

World Mosquito Day presents us with the opportunity to raise awareness of the threat still posed by mosquito-borne diseases worldwide and to spotlight ongoing efforts in the fight against the world’s deadliest creature. This World Mosquito Day, we are highlighting the profiles of 13 researchers working on innovative approaches to tackle vector-borne diseases at the source by targeting mosquitoes.