Alexander T. Ciota

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Culex pipiens L. complex mosquitoes have a global distribution and are primary vectors of pathogens of public health significance. In the U.S., Cx. pipiens bioformes, Cx. pipiens form pipiens and Cx. pipiens form molestus, as well as Cx. quinquefasciatus, are primary vectors of West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus). These mosquitoes reside in(More)
West Nile virus (WNV; Flavivirus; Flaviviridae) is the cause of the most widespread arthropod-borne viral disease in the world and the largest outbreak of neuroinvasive disease ever observed. Mosquito-borne outbreaks are influenced by intrinsic (e.g., vector and viral genetics, vector and host competence, vector life-history traits) and extrinsic (e.g.,(More)
Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are maintained in nature by cycling between vertebrate hosts and haematophagous invertebrate vectors. These viruses are responsible for causing a significant public health burden throughout the world, with over 100 species having the capacity to cause human disease. Arbovirus outbreaks in previously naïve environments(More)
BACKGROUND Understanding the phenotypic consequences of interactions between arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) and their mosquito hosts has direct implications for predicting the evolution of these relationships and the potential for changes in epidemiological patterns. Although arboviruses are generally not highly pathogenic to mosquitoes, pathology(More)
St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV; Flaviviridae, flavivirus) was the major cause of epidemic flaviviral encephalitis in the U.S. prior to the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) in 1999. However, outbreaks of SLEV have been significantly more limited then WNV in terms of levels of activity and geographic dispersal. One possible explanation for these(More)
RNA viruses including arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) exist as highly genetically diverse mutant swarms within individual hosts. A more complete understanding of the phenotypic correlates of these diverse swarms is needed in order to equate RNA swarm breadth and composition to specific adaptive and evolutionary outcomes. Here, we determined clonal(More)
Rabensburg virus (RABV), a Flavivirus with ∼76% nucleotide and 90% amino acid identity with representative members of lineage one and two West Nile virus (WNV), previously was isolated from Culex pipiens and Aedes rossicus mosquitoes in the Czech Republic, and phylogenetic and serologic analyses demonstrated that it was likely a new lineage of WNV. However,(More)
Virulence is often coupled with replicative fitness of viruses in vertebrate systems, yet the relationship between virulence and fitness of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) in invertebrates has not been evaluated. Although the interactions between vector-borne pathogens and their invertebrate hosts have been characterized as being largely benign, some(More)
High rates of error-prone replication result in the rapid accumulation of genetic diversity of RNA viruses. Recent studies suggest that mutation rates are selected for optimal viral fitness and that modest variations in replicase fidelity may be associated with viral attenuation. Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are unique in their requirement for host(More)
Complex interactions between microbial residents of mosquitoes and arboviruses are likely to influence many aspects of vectorial capacity and could potentially have profound effects on patterns of arbovirus transmission. Such interactions have not been well studied for West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) and Culex spp. mosquitoes. We utilized(More)