Volume 103, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Bed bugs ( spp.) are common ectoparasites of humans. Their ubiquity across diverse human environments combined with their blood-feeding behavior creates an ideal interface for the transmission of pathogenic microbes. Despite this potential, the current dogma is that bed bugs are not vectors of any known infectious agents. However, this conclusion is based largely on the results of studies conducted before the advent of modern molecular biology and the resurgence of bed bugs on a global scale. More importantly, a small but compelling body of modern research suggesting that bed bugs can potentially vector some human pathogens exists but is often overlooked. This article critically examines the current classification of the bed bug as an insect that does not transmit disease agents. In doing so, it highlights key knowledge gaps that still exist in understanding the potential of bed bugs as pathogen vectors and outlines several arguments for why new research on the topic is necessary.


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  • Received : 12 Feb 2020
  • Accepted : 19 Mar 2020
  • Published online : 27 Apr 2020
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