Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Vitek

Second Advisor

Dr. Mathew Terry

Third Advisor

Dr. John Thomas III


South Texas is one of the few locations where Zika virus has been locally transmitted in the U.S. It has a climate which is distinct to other areas with autochthonous transmission, with extremely hot, dry summers and moderate winter temperatures. Studying mosquito transmission of Zika in a range of temperatures conditions replicating where virus transmission is occurring is essential in order to have a better understanding of transmission patterns. These factors were examined by infecting mosquitoes and monitoring the dissemination status through real-time PCR analysis.

To further characterize dissemination of Zika virus within south Texas mosquitoes a time series immunohistochemical analysis was conducted. In this proof of concept experiment infected mosquitoes were fixed days post infection and processed for antibody staining before being imaged with a confocal microscope. More reliable experimental methodology will result in more accurate assessment of transmission risk and prediction of transmission of Zika virus transmission.


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