Copyright: NCDC, Georgia

Country profile: Georgia

In the third of our country profiles, EDENext caught up with Eka Giorgobiani, from Georgia’s National Centre for Disease Control, to find out more about the vector-borne disease situation in her country and the role her institute will be playing in EDENext.

1. What vector-based disease challenges does Georgia face?

According to the historical data, Georgia has been endemic for several vector-borne diseases. Single cases of Lyme disease, Q fever, tick-borne encephalitis, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and West Nile virus have been registered in different parts of the country. A considerable number of tularemia cases have been reported annually. Large foci of malaria are located in the eastern part of the country. Visceral leishmaniasis in Georgia has been sporadic and confined mainly to the eastern part of the country. Since 1990, the number of visceral leishmaniasis cases recorded annually has increased substantially and current active foci are located in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.  There are two natural foci of plague in Georgia, although human cases have not been registered since 1937.

2. What is your institute doing to tackle this?

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is the primary public health centre in Georgia which performs surveillance, control and prevention of public health diseases. Seasonal epizootic surveys are carried out by the NCDC teams of epidemiologists, entomologists and veterinarians to guide the monitoring and control of vectors (mosquitoes, sand flies, ticks, fleas) and reservoirs (rodents, domestic and wild animals) of vector-based diseases. In addition, molecular diagnostic and typing techniques are used for identification and investigation of isolated vector-based pathogens.

3. What role are you and your institute playing in EDENext?

The NCDC is involved in the EDENext activities proposed for the phlebotome (sand flies) group (PhBD). The Georgian team will carry out field and laboratory work to investigate the vectors of visceral leishmaniasis in Georgia. We will identify species, determine Phlebotomus population density, seasonal density variations, breeding and feeding habits, period of infectivity and infection rates. These results will help to determine the epidemiological significance of each vector, which is essential in developing appropriate control measures for disease prevention.

Georgia facts

Capital: Tbilisi

Surface area: 69,700km²

Population: 4.2 million (UN, 2010)

Population density: 68.1/km²

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Copyright: NCDC, Georgia
Clockwise from top middle: Eka Giorgobiani and some of the team from Georgia's National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). NCDC performs surveillance, control and prevention of public health diseases. Seasonal epizootic surveys are carried out by teams of epidemiologists, entomologists and veterinarians to guide the monitoring and control of vectors (mosquitoes, sand flies, ticks, fleas) and reservoirs (rodents, domestic and wild animals) of vector-based diseases. All photographs are copyright of NCDC, Georgia.

Published: 08/08/2011

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