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BACKGROUND High coverage of insecticide-treated bed nets in Asembo and low coverage in Seme, two adjacent communities in western Nyanza Province, Kenya; followed by expanded coverage of bed nets in Seme, as the Kenya national malaria programme rolled out; provided a natural experiment for quantification of changes in relative abundance of two primary(More)
Recent field studies have suggested that the dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission are influenced strongly by a few key super spreader bird species that function both as primary blood hosts of the vector mosquitoes (in particular Culex pipiens) and as reservoir-competent virus hosts. It has been hypothesized that human cases result from a shift in(More)
Epizootic transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) often intensifies rapidly leading to increasing risk of human infection, but the processes underlying amplification remain poorly understood. We quantified epizootic WNV transmission in communities of mosquitoes and birds in the Chicago, Illinois (USA) region during 2005 and 2006. Using quantitative polymerase(More)
BACKGROUND West Nile virus infection in humans in urban areas of the Midwestern United States has exhibited strong spatial clustering during epidemic years. We derived urban landscape classes from the physical and socio-economic factors hypothesized to be associated with West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission and compared those to human cases of illness in 2002(More)
Culex flavivirus (CxFV) is an insect-specific flavivirus globally distributed in mosquitoes of the genus Culex. CxFV was positively associated with West Nile virus (WNV) infection in a case-control study of 268 mosquito pools from an endemic focus of WNV transmission in Chicago, United States. Specifically, WNV-positive Culex mosquito pools were four times(More)
The influence of host diversity on multi-host pathogen transmission and persistence can be confounded by the large number of species and biological interactions that can characterize many transmission systems. For vector-borne pathogens, the composition of host communities has been hypothesized to affect transmission; however, the specific characteristics(More)
Vertebrate host diversity has been postulated to mediate prevalence of zoonotic, vector-borne diseases, such that as diversity increases, transmission dampens. This "dilution effect" is thought to be caused by distribution of infective bites to incompetent reservoir hosts. We quantified avian species richness, avian seroprevalence for antibodies to West(More)
Dispersal is a critical life history behavior for mosquitoes and is important for the spread of mosquito-borne disease. We implemented the first stable isotope mark-capture study to measure mosquito dispersal, focusing on Culex pipiens in southwest suburban Chicago, Illinois, a hotspot of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission. We enriched nine catch basins in(More)
Hosts are commonly infected with a suite of parasites, and interactions among these parasites can affect the size, structure, and behavior of host-parasite communities. As an important step to understanding the significance of co-circulating parasites, we describe prevalence of co-circulating hemoparasites in two important avian amplification hosts for West(More)