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Annual UMA Biology Speaker

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UMA Biology Department Presents

Charles Lubelczyk: Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Lyme & Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory

Use of Wildlife Serosurveys for Detection of Emerging Arboviruses in Maine

West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis carrying mosquito
West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis carrying mosquito

The two main mosquito-borne viruses (also known as arboviruses, for arthropod-borne viruses) recognized in Maine and known to cause human and animal disease are Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus and West Nile virus (WNV). The first potentially Maine acquired human case of EEE was identified in 2008. The first Maine resident cases of indigenously acquired WNV and EEE occurred in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Different types of mosquitoes, with species-specific feeding habits (birds and/or mammals) and habitats (environments where they are found) carry these diseases. These differences are important in developing strategies for controlling the mosquitoes involved.

There are several viruses carried by mosquitoes that we do not currently have in Maine. The most significant of these are Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika viruses. All three of these viruses are carried by Aedes mosquitoes particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Neither mosquito have been found in Maine, although Maine is at the northern edge of the albopictus range.

Date: 3/22/2017
Time: Noon
Where: Randall Student Center Fireplace lounge; Augusta Campus