Alexander T. Ciota

Learn More
To determine if West Nile virus (WNV) infection of insect cells induces a protective RNAi response, Drosophila melanogaster S2 and Aedes albopictus C6/36 cells were infected with WNV, and the production of WNV-homologous small RNAs was assayed as an indicator of RNAi induction. A distinct population of approximately 25 nt WNV-homologous small RNAs was(More)
Climatic changes forecasted in the coming years are likely to result in substantial alterations to the distributions and populations of vectors of arthropod-borne pathogens. Characterization of the effect of temperature shifts on the life history traits of specific vectors is needed to more accurately define how such changes could impact the epidemiological(More)
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was introduced into the U.S. in the New York City area in 1999. Despite its successful establishment and rapid spread in a naive environment, WNV has undergone limited evolution since its introduction. This evolutionary stability has been attributed to compromises made to permit alternating cycles of(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)
West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus, has significantly expanded its geographical and host range since its 1999 introduction into North America. The underlying mechanisms of evolution of WNV and other arboviruses are still poorly understood. Studies evaluating virus adaptation and fitness in relevant in vivo systems are largely lacking. In(More)
West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first introduced into the USA in the New York City area in 1999. Since its introduction, WNV has steadily increased both its host and geographical ranges. Outbreaks of the closely related flavivirus, St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), occur in the USA periodically, but levels of activity and(More)
A mark-recapture project examined dispersal and flight distances of Culex mosquitoes from a wastewater treatment plant in Albany, NY, during 2007 and 2008. A self-marking device was constructed to mark egressing mosquitoes with fluorescent marking powder. Mosquitoes were recaptured using 30 CDC miniature light traps located within a 2.0 km radius of the(More)
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) has successfully spread throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Central and South America since its 1999 introduction into North America. Despite infecting a broad range of both mosquito and avian species, the virus remains highly genetically conserved. This lack of evolutionary change over space and time is(More)
Mosquito-borne viruses are predominantly RNA viruses which exist within hosts as diverse mutant swarms. Defining the way in which stochastic forces within mosquito vectors shape these swarms is critical to advancing our understanding of the evolutionary and adaptive potential of these pathogens. There are multiple barriers within a mosquito which a viral(More)