Publications

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avian hosts of west nile virus in puerto rico.abstract west nile virus (wnv) ecology in neotropical ecosystems is poorly understood, and vertebrate hosts responsible for infecting mosquitoes remain unidentified throughout the caribbean basin. after a period of intense wnv transmission among sentinel chickens near ceiba, puerto rico, we measured abundance of resident birds and species-specific prevalence of wnv infection. taking the product of these measures indicates the relative number of wnv infections by species. greater antillean grac ...201121923260
serological evaluation of suspected west nile virus human cases following its introduction during a dengue outbreak in puerto rico in 2007.a laboratory testing algorithm was evaluated to confirm west nile virus (wnv) infection in human serum following the introduction of the virus in puerto rico in 2007. this testing algorithm used two standard diagnostic assays, the igm antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (mac elisa) and real-time reverse transcriptase pcr (rt-pcr), along with two nonconventional assays, the nonstructural protein 1 (ns1) elisa and a 90%-plaque-reduction neutralization test (prnt(90)) with igg deplet ...201121508167
the utility of animal surveillance in the detection of west nile virus activity in puerto rico, 2007.after the isolation of west nile virus (wnv) from humans, mosquitoes, and chickens in 2007, an analysis of animal surveillance involving multiple species (horses, monkeys, sheep, dogs, and birds) used to track wnv transmission from 2006 to 2008 was performed. during this period 13.4% of all the animal samples collected were seropositive by blocking elisa for wnv. the most complete island-wide sampling was obtained from horses of which 22% were serologically positive and 96% were confirmed as wnv ...201120575642
enhanced west nile virus surveillance in a dengue-endemic area--puerto rico, 2007.in june of 2007, west nile virus (wnv) was detected in sentinel chickens and blood donors in puerto rico, where dengue virus (denv) is hyperendemic. enhanced human surveillance for acute febrile illness (afi) began in eastern puerto rico on july 1, 2007. healthcare providers submitted specimens from afi cases for wnv and denv virology and serology testing. over 6 months, 385 specimens were received from 282 cases; 115 (41%) specimens were denv laboratory-positive, 86 (31%) specimens were laborat ...201323478583
serologic evidence for west nile virus transmission in puerto rico and cuba.during the spring of 2004, approximately 1,950 blood specimens were collected from resident and nearctic-neotropical migratory birds on the caribbean islands of puerto rico and cuba prior to northerly spring migrations. eleven birds and seven birds, collected in puerto rico and cuba, respectively, showed evidence of antibody in a flavivirus enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. confirmatory plaque-reduction neutralization test results indicated neutralizing antibodies to west nile virus in non-migr ...200516103626
china to scale up collaborations in infectious disease research. 201020823854
seasonal and habitat effects on dengue and west nile virus vectors in san juan, puerto rico.the presence of west nile (wnv) and dengue viruses and the lack of recent mosquito surveys in puerto rico prompted an investigation on the distribution and abundance of potential arbovirus vectors in the san juan metropolitan area, and their variation with seasons and habitats. we sampled mosquitoes in early and late 2005 in 58 sites from forests, nonforest vegetation, wetlands, and high- and low-density housing areas using ovijars, centers for disease control and prevention miniature light/co2 ...200919432067
meteorologically driven simulations of dengue epidemics in san juan, pr.meteorological factors influence dengue virus ecology by modulating vector mosquito population dynamics, viral replication, and transmission. dynamic modeling techniques can be used to examine how interactions among meteorological variables, vectors and the dengue virus influence transmission. we developed a dengue fever simulation model by coupling a dynamic simulation model for aedes aegypti, the primary mosquito vector for dengue, with a basic epidemiological susceptible-exposed-infectious-re ...201526275146
characterization of puerto rican west nile virus isolates in mice.west nile virus (wnv) is a neurotropic arbovirus that was first isolated in 1937 in the west nile district of uganda. the virus emerged in new york in 1999 and is now endemic in north america (2007). the first virus isolates from puerto rico were obtained in 2007 from a chicken (pr20wh) and a mosquito pool (pr423). our study further characterized these viral isolates using in vitro plaque morphology assays and in vivo using a balb/c mice pathogenesis model.201526357867
enhanced surveillance for fatal dengue-like acute febrile illness in puerto rico, 2010-2012.dengue is a leading cause of morbidity throughout the tropics; however, accurate population-based estimates of mortality rates are not available.201627727271
mosquito vectors of west nile virus during an epizootic outbreak in puerto rico.the purpose of this investigation was to identify the mosquito (diptera: culicidae) vectors of west nile virus (wnv; family flaviviridae, genus flavivirus) during an epizootic wnv outbreak in eastern puerto rico in 2007. in june 2006, 12 sentinel chicken pens with five chickens per pen were deployed in six types of habitats: herbaceous wetlands, mangrove forests, deciduous forests, evergreen forests, rural areas, and urban areas. once wnv seroconversion in chickens was detected in june 2007, we ...201021175071
use of an enhanced surveillance system for encephalitis and aseptic meningitis for the detection of neurologic manifestations of dengue in puerto rico, 2003.dengue infection has been implicated as a cause of neurologic manifestations since the beginning of the 20th century. an enhanced surveillance system for encephalitis and aseptic meningitis developed by the puerto rico department of health in collaboration with the dengue branch, centers for disease control and prevention, identified eleven laboratory positive dengue patients presenting with neurologic manifestations in 2003. anti-dengue igm antibody was detected in serum of eight patients and i ...200919530552
west nile virus from blood donors, vertebrates, and mosquitoes, puerto rico, 2007.west nile virus (wnv) was isolated from a human blood donor, a dead falcon, and mosquitoes in puerto rico in 2007. phylogenetic analysis of the 4 isolates suggests a recent introduction of lineage i wnv that is closely related to wnv currently circulating in north america.200919751597
serological evidence of infection with endemic human pathogens among free-ranging old world monkeys in puerto rico.serum specimens from free-ranging but nonnative patas monkeys (erythrocebus patas) and rhesus macaques (macaca mulatta) in southwestern puerto rico (pr) were tested for antibodies to infection with dengue viruses (denvs), west nile virus (wnv), leptospira species, and burkholderia pseudomallei by microneutralization, plaque reduction neutralization, microscopic agglutination, and indirect hemagglutination, respectively. of 23 animals (21 e. patas and two m. mulatta) tested, all had evidence of p ...201627001754
first isolation of west nile virus in the caribbean.a sentinel chicken program for west nile virus (wnv) surveillance was initiated in july 2006 in eastern puerto rico, yielding the first seroconversions on june 4, 2007. wnv was isolated from sentinel chicken serum and mosquito pools (culex nigripalpus, culex bahamensis) for the first time in tropical america. preliminary sequence analysis of the prm and e genes revealed a 1-amino acid difference (v159a) between the puerto rican 2007 and the ny99. this mutation has been observed in the current do ...200818385366
detection of west nile virus in blood donations--puerto rico, 2007.in the united states, west nile virus (wnv) was first detected in humans in 1999; it subsequently spread to countries of central and south america and the caribbean. wnv is a mosquito-borne virus that produces potentially serious clinical disease, particularly among persons aged > or =50 years. transmission by routes other than mosquito bites, including blood transfusion, transplacental infection, organ transplant, and possibly breast milk, also have been reported. on july 19, 2007, the american ...200818509302
dengue virus in blood donations, puerto rico, 2005.a single instance of transfusion-transmitted dengue infection has been reported. the high incidence of dengue in endemic countries, the high proportion of asymptomatic infection, and the median 5-day viremia, however, suggest that transfusion-associated dengue transmission may be more widespread than documented.200818503611
mosquito (diptera: culicidae) bloodmeal sources during a period of west nile virus transmission in puerto rico.host bloodmeals of indigenous caribbean mosquitoes have not been studied previously. we identified vertebrate dna in 90 blood-engorged mosquitoes belonging to four genera (aedes, culex, deinocerites, and uranotaenia) and 12 species that were collected in puerto rico within a geographic and temporal focus of west nile virus transmission in 2007. it was found that 62 (68.8%) bloodmeals were from reptiles, 18 (20.0%) from birds, and 10 (11.1%) from mammals. only one bloodmeal of 18 derived from cul ...201121661334
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