Thomas R. Unnasch

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Parasitic nematodes that cause elephantiasis and river blindness threaten hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. We have sequenced the approximately 90 megabase (Mb) genome of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi and predict approximately 11,500 protein coding genes in 71 Mb of robustly assembled sequence. Comparative analysis with the(More)
An important variable in the epidemiology of arthropodborne diseases is the intensity of transmission, which is a function of host-vector contact and the prevalence of infection in the vector population. This latter value is often difficult to estimate. It is possible to envision the application of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to this problem. To(More)
An important variable in determining the vectorial capacity of mosquito species for arthropod-borne infections is the degree of contact of the vector and the vertebrate reservoir. This parameter can be estimated by examining the host-feeding habits of vectors. Serological and polymerase chain reaction based methods have been used to study the host-feedings(More)
The host-feeding patterns of mosquitoes (n = 247) collected in the Borough of Queens in New York City in July and August 2000 were investigated using an indirect ELISA and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-heteroduplex assay. Culex pipiens L. and Cx. restuans Theobald fed primarily on birds, and their feeding habits support their implication as enzootic(More)
The source of bloodmeals in 2,082 blood-fed mosquitoes collected from February 2002 through December 2003 in Memphis and surrounding areas of Shelby County, Tennessee were determined. Members of the genus Culex and Anopheles quadrimaculatus predominated in the collections. Members of the Cx. pipiens complex and Cx. restuans were found to feed predominately(More)
To eliminate transmission of Onchocerca volvulus, semiannual mass treatment with ivermectin (Mectizan; donated by Merck & Co) has been underway in Guatemala since 2000. We applied the 2001 World Health Organization (WHO) elimination criteria in the Santa Rosa focus of onchocerciasis transmission in Guatemala (10,923 persons at risk). No evidence of parasite(More)
The complete DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genome of Onchocerca volvulus is described. The O. volvulus mitochondrial genome is 13747 bp, slightly smaller than the mitochondrial genomes of the nematodes Ascaris suum and Caenorhabditis elegans, and the smallest metazoan mitochondrial DNA molecule reported to date. The O. volvulus mitochondrial genome(More)
We developed a DNA assay for bloodmeal identification in haematophagous insects. Specific host cytochrome B gene sequences were amplified by PCR and classified on the basis of their mobility in a heteroduplex assay. In the blackfly Simulium damnosum s.l. (Diptera: Simuliidae), human cytochrome B DNA sequences were identifiable up to 3 days following(More)
Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) is a major nuisance mosquito and a potential arbovirus vector. The host-feeding patterns of Ae. albopictus were investigated during the 2002 and 2003 mosquito seasons in suburban neighborhoods in Wake County, Raleigh, NC. Hosts of blood-fed Ae. albopictus (n = 1,094) were identified with an indirect(More)
The species composition and population dynamics of adult mosquitoes in a wetland near Iuka, MS, were analyzed over a 6-yr period (1997-2002) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection rates of arboviruses determined during five of those years. Blood meals of three likely vector species were identified using a PCR-based method that(More)