Otilia Oita | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Otilia Oita head shot

Name: Otilia Oita
Title: Transmission and Polymorphisms of Culex Flavivirus in Wild-Caught Culex Mosquitoes from Cleveland, Ohio
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Advisor: Ferdinand Nanfac Minkeu; Rebecca Williams (second reader)

The study of Culex flavivirus (CxFv), specifically transmission modes and polymorphisms, is essential to further the world’s understanding of mosquito-borne viruses. The collection of Culex mosquitoes from Cleveland, Ohio revealed that CxFv is vertically transmitted and there are some genetic differences among these viral strains. Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) showed a 40% prevalence of CxFv among Culex mosquitoes caught in Cleveland, with a 78% rate of vertical transmission. These genetic differences provide insight into the various CxFv strains present and how the virus spreads in this area. The strains collected from here were more genetically similar to one another than to isolates from other countries according to a phylogenetic analysis. There was a percentage of similarity ranging from 33.51% to 93.04% in the samples collected from Cleveland, with CxFv isolates from India and Brazil being the closest genetic matches not from this collection location. This study effectively focused on viral transmission patterns of CxFv and the genetic differences that provide insight into potential global viral tracking.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on April 24, 2024.