Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Vitek

Second Advisor

Dr. John Thomas III

Third Advisor

Dr. Rupesh Kariyat


Zika virus has become a greater global public health concern from the occurrence of outbreaks in 2007 and its expansion to the Americas in 2015. The presence of Aedes aegypti in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and evidence of local transmission of Zika in Brownsville, Texas provides a need to research transmission dynamics of local populations. In these experiments, a locally acquired, laboratory colony of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were infected with a blood meal featuring a Mexican isolate of Zika virus to display vector competency, vertical transmission, venereal transmission. Here, we infected 39 females, with 34 of them displaying evidence of dissemination of the virus which enables transmission via venereal and vertical transmission. These females mated with males, of which one male was positive for Zika virus through venereal transmission, and successfully transmitted Zika vertically to three of four cohorts of eggs.


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