Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

John VandeBerg

Second Advisor

Boris Ermolinksy

Third Advisor

Robert K. Dearth


Zika Viral infection in pregnant women may lead to infants born with microcephaly and other neurological complications, making Zika viral research imperative. Prior research demonstrated Monodelphis domestica to be a unique animal model for Zika virus studies, and viral proteins were detected in brain tissue of juveniles after intracerebral inoculation of infants. We wanted to determine if we can detect a viral protein, non-structural protein 1 (NS1), in brain tissue after intraperitoneal inoculation and we found it to be possible through immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. We also investigated if inoculated dams (mothers) would give rise to Zika positive pups (natural inoculation), and we found it to be possible. Further, we compared ELISA assay results to IHC results and found a significant correlation. Our IHC results compared experimentally inoculated dams to naturally infected pups and found that there was no significant difference in the abundance of NS1 in either population. Comparing IHC results of pups of three different ages, we found that pups at 8 weeks had the highest levels of NS1, while NS1 was negligible in 22-week-old and 30-week-old pups.


Copyright 2023 Mohini Moulick. All Rights Reserved.

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