Arbovirus is a term used to refer to a group of viruses that are transmitted by arthropod vectors. New York is host to a number of endemic mosquito-borne arboviruses which include West Nile virus introduced in 1999, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Jamestown Canyon virus, La Crosse virus, Trivittatus virus, South River virus, Potosi virus, Cache Valley virus and Highlands J virus. New York is also home to the tick-borne Powassan and Deer Tick viruses.

Blood Feedig

The Arbovirus Laboratory performs surveillance testing on mosquitoes, birds and mammals submitted from across the state, as well as confirmatory clinical serology on human sera. This testing incorporates molecular, cellular and immunological techniques to provide accurate and comprehensive results which inform public health decisions on local and state levels. More information about testing is available.

Given the dynamic interactions between pathogens, hosts and environment, arbovirus research is as important as surveillance to public health. Current research projects focus on understanding how arboviruses interact with their mosquito vectors and how these interactions affect virus evolution and transmissibility. The lab is also studying the effects of temperature on mosquito fitness and transmissibility and has additional projects assessing the capacity of new antiviral compounds to limit arbovirus replication.

CLIA# 33D2005935 | PFI# 8524

Program Updates

1st Place. 3 Minute Thesis.

Rachel Fay, Ph.D. candidate in Wadsworth Center’s Arbovirology Laboratory, under the mentorship of Dr. Alex Ciota, took first place in the University at Albany’s fourth annual Three Minute Thesis competition with her talk titled, “Increasing the resolution of vector-borne diseases and climate change”. The contest gives all graduate students across all fields at the University at Albany a chance to present their work. Listen to Rachel’s talk.

Longer seasons and higher virus levels in 2018 for some pathogens carried by mosquitoes

Each year, Wadsworth Center’s Arbovirology Laboratory undertakes the seasonal surveillance of mosquitoes for arboviral pathogens. Surveillance is important for control of vector-borne viruses. First, it tells us which mosquito species are present and where. Different species are capable of transmitting different pathogens, so this is crucial information. Second, it allows us to know exactly which pathogens are being carried by the mosquitoes present. Together, this informs the public, informs mosquito control efforts, and alerts physicians.

$10 million CDC grant establishes the Northeast Center for Excellence in Vector-borne Diseases (NEVBD)

Why A just-released CDC report concluded that disease caused by tick, mosquito and flea bites more than tripled in the US between 2004 and 2016, and that 9 new diseases were either discovered or detected here for the first time during that same period.West Nile virus - just one example