James C. McAvin

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Molecular surveillance of pathogens has shown the need for rapid and dependable methods for the identification of organisms of clinical and epidemiological importance. As the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae was used as a model organism to develop and refine a real-time fluorescence PCR assay and enhanced DNA(More)
A Francisella tularensis-specific, TaqMan probe-based, real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay required approximately 60 minutes and consistently achieved a sensitivity of < or = 10 fg of F. tularensis genomic DNA (five genome equivalents). Specificity testing against a genomic DNA cross-reaction panel comprised of 22 bacterial(More)
Sand flies collected between April 2003 and November 2004 at Tallil Air Base, Iraq, were evaluated for the presence of Leishmania parasites using a combination of a real-time Leishmania-generic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and sequencing of a 360-bp fragment of the glucose-6-phosphate-isomerase (GPI) gene. A total of 2,505 pools containing 26,574(More)
We describe here the development and evaluation of advanced vector surveillance analytic technologies for real-time leishmaniasis risk assessment. Leishmania genus and visceral leishmaniasis causative agent--specific dual fluorogenic-probe hydrolysis (TaqMan), thermally stable (freeze-dried) polymerase chain reaction assays were developed using(More)
Dengue virus universal and dengue serotype 1 to 4, fluorogenic probe hydrolysis (TaqMan), reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays were developed for screening and serotype identification of infected mosquito vectors and human sera using a field-deployable, fluorometric thermocycler. Dengue universal and dengue 1 to 4 serotype assay in vitro(More)
In June 2001, an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis among 109 attendees of a church picnic in Kerr County, Texas, was reported. A 5'-nuclease PCR assay was used to screen for Salmonella in nine food items from the buffet line. Barbeque chicken B tested positive for Salmonella, and no amplification was detected in the remaining food items. These PCR findings(More)
Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, and leishmaniasis are a threat to military forces deployed outside of the United States. The availability of specific information on the vector-borne disease threat (e.g., presence or absence of a specific disease agent, temporal and geographic distribution of competent vectors, and vector infection rates)(More)
Dengue virus universal and serotype 1 to 4 fluorogenic probe hydrolysis, reverse transcription (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and positive-control RNA template were freeze-dried in a thermally stable, hydrolytic enzyme-resistant format and deployed for testing in a dengue fever-endemic region of Thailand. The study site presented austere(More)
An Aedes aegypti-specific, fluorogenic probe hydrolysis (Taq-Man), polymerase chain reaction assay was developed for real-time screening using a field-deployable thermocycler. Laboratory-based testing of A. aegypti, A. aegypti (Trinidad strain), Culex pipiens, Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, and Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus individual adult(More)
Real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction is a microbial identification method that can provide rapid and accurate results using a field-deployable thermocycler, the RAPID ("ruggedized" advanced pathogen identification device). A Yersinia pestis-specific TaqMan assay required approximately 75 minutes and achieved a sensitivity of 100 fg of Y. pestis(More)