BEAT the bite

Arm yourself against an emerging threat

Warm weather beckons sun enthusiasts and nature lovers outside to enjoy the great outdoors. But humans aren’t the only species that thrive in warm weather. Bug populations boom when plants bloom, causing not only itchy stings and painful bites, but harmful infectious diseases that can be life-threatening without proper diagnosis and treatment.

Because the planet’s tiniest predators flourish in warmer weather, the threat they pose has increased as the earth’s temperature has increased. The longer summers, milder winters, and shifting climate zones brought on by rising global temperatures have triggered a migration of ticks, mosquitos, and insects into previously uninhabitable climates zones,1 broadening the impact of the infectious diseases they carry.


17% of all infectious disease is vector-borne2


1 million worldwide deaths annually due to vector-borne illness3


640,000 cases of vector-borne disease in the U.S. reported from 2004–20164

Amplify awareness

Diseases previously limited geographically, such as Lyme disease, have expanded into new regions and are appearing earlier each season as their vectors adapt to warmer temperatures. And illnesses once thought to be rare, such as Powassan virus neuroinvasive disease,5 have increased due to climate redistribution. This changing vector-borne disease landscape demands an increased awareness of disease prevalence within geographic regions, but also knowledge of the latest testing methodologies to procure accurate answers for patients.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers a robust menu of vector-borne testing, including individual tests and panels that aid in diagnosing illness caused by ticks, mosquitos, and insects. From common diseases, such as Lyme disease and malaria, to more rare illness, such as Zika virus, Powassan virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, our testing spans the spectrum of vector-borne diseases. We can provide you with tools to accurately diagnose patients and set them on a path toward healing.  

Check out our comprehensive vector-borne test offerings for a detailed look at available testing.

Mayo Clinic scientists Elitza Theel, Ph.D., director of the Infectious Disease Serology Laboratory, and and Bobbi Pritt, M.D., chair of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, discuss Mayo Clinic’s new and upcoming assays to detect and diagnose Powassan virus neuroinvasive disease, which is passed to humans through the bite of several species of ticks. Listen to learn more.

In this "Hot Topic," Elitza Theel, Ph.D., will be discussing laboratory utilization management, specifically for diagnostic testing for tick-borne diseases. Watch now to learn more.

testing guidance by area of exposure

Whether your patient was exposed at home or while traveling, our ordering guide by region can help determine the prevalence of vector-borne diseases in distinct geographic regions.

Learn more about how to order these tests at your institution.

More information on prevention

Learn more about the impact of climate change of vector-borne diseases. Read more.

Understanding how vector-borne illness spreads starts with understanding the insects that carry them. Join one of Mayo Clinic's top infectious disease experts on a research expedition. Click to learn more.

Mosquito bites, which spread more disease than any other insect, can be easily avoided with a few simple steps. Watch to learn more.

The best way to manage potentially harmful bug bites is prevention. One of Mayo Clinic Laboratories' chief bug experts shares her strategies to beat the bite. Watch now.

Increase your tick literacy. Learn the ABCs of ticks to protect yourself and those you love from infectious insects. View now.


  1. Mitigating Climate Change’s Impact on Tick-Borne Zoonotic Disease Emergence (
  2. Vector-borne diseases (WHO)
  3. vbdfactsheet.pdf (WHO)
  4. Illnesses on the rise | VitalSigns | CDC
  5. Statistics & Maps | Powassan | CDC