Cross-species transmission of viruses from birds to horses

Ayanna Johnson, a student from Norfolk State University, worked with Dr. Andrew Park on transmission of viruses from birds to horses. Abstract: The spread of influenza from wild birds to horses impacts the livelihood of people in Mongolia, where horses play an important role in their livelihood. Additionally, such cross-species transmission could potentially lead to

Detecting influenza A virus antigenicity with density-based algorithms

Sofia McDonough, a student from Florida State University, worked with Dr. Pej Rohani & Dr. Alpha Forna on density-based algorithms for detecting influenza A virus. Abstract: Influenza A H3N2 viruses mutate over time, leading to different antigenic variants. Viruses that elicit a similar immune response are considered to be part of the same antigenic cluster. It

Environmental variability and mosquito-borne disease

Karin Ebey, a student from Eckerd College, worked with Dr. Kyle Dahlin and Dr. John Vinson on modelling the effects of demographic and environmental noise on mosquito-borne disease. Abstract: Mosquito-borne diseases are a significant and growing public health burden globally. Predictions about the future spread and impact of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks can help inform direct control

Understanding spatiotemporal dynamics of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer

Diana Felipe, a student from Utah State University, worked with Dr. Elizabeth M. Warburton to understand spatiotemporal dynamics of chronic wasting disease in deer. Abstract: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a 100% fatal neurodegenerative disease found in White-tailed deer and other cervid species. CWD is caused by prions which can be transmitted directly and indirectly. Due

How do predators affect disease dynamics in their prey? Experimental tests of the healthy herds hypothesis with fish predators, zooplankton hosts, and a fungal parasite

T’Kai Adekunle, a student from Savannah State University, worked with Dr. Robbie Richards and Dr. Alex Strauss to understand how predators affect disease dynamics in their prey. Abstract: The healthy herds hypothesis is the idea that predators reduce the spread of disease in prey/host populations. There are three primary mechanisms by which  this effect may occur:

How Various Feeding Rates Affect Pupation Rates in Anopheles stephensi Larvae

Jacob Glover, a student at Franklin College, worked in the lab of Dr. Ash Pathak Abstract Anopheles Stephensi are a dangerous vector for countless diseases without cures currently. If mosquitos could be contained or controlled, then this could eliminate these diseases they carry without having to find a vaccine or other types of cures for

Designing and Evaluating the Need for Patient Based Clinical Prediction Rules for Influenza Triage Telemedicine

Annika Cleven, a student at St. Olaf College, worked in the lab of Dr. Andreas Handel Abstract Using data that was collected from a university health center where patients and clinicians were asked to report the presence of a list of respiratory-related symptoms, we analyzed the need for patient based Clinical Prediction Rules (CPRs).  We

Deforestation alters spillover risk of multi-host pathogens

Annalise Cramer, a student at Westfield State University, worked in the lab of Dr. Richard Hall Abstract Deforestation alters landscape configuration resulting in novel contacts between host species, which can promote pathogen spillover from wildlife to domesticated animals and humans. Given heightened awareness of zoonotic spillover, studies are urgently needed to understand how the rate

OrNet: Spatiotemporal Analysis of Organelle Morphology

Walter Avila, a student from Emory University, worked in the lab of Dr. Shannon Quinn. Abstract Modeling changes in organelle morphology in response to infections is pivotal in studying pathogenic behaviors. Mitochondria are the most meaningful organelles to study because their structure changes dramatically in the presence of potentially fatal infections. Accurately modeling mitochondria could

Investigating the Clinical Relevance of Patient-Reported Symptoms for Influenza Triage

Jacqueline Dworaczyk, a student at Arizona State University, worked in the lab of Dr. Andreas Handel. Telemedicine has become increasingly popular during the age of Covid-19. During a public health crisis, telemedicine could be used as a tool to triage patients and prevent burden on the health care system. In an exploratory data analysis, we

Infectious disease professionals need better training in modeling

Salil Goyal, a student at the University of California Berkeley, worked with Dr. Andreas Handel. Models have become increasingly important in the field of infectious disease epidemiology, and broadly in the field of public health, in recent years because the ability of scientists and officials to make educated decisions based on data is important. However,

Is relative viral load an important metric for treatment and prognosis of influenza A?

Zane Billings, a student at Western Carolina University, worked with Dr. Andreas Handel and graduate student Brian McKay in the UGA College of Public Health. Abstract Influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) present with several of the same symptoms, including cough, fatigue, and weakness. However, ILIs can be caused by a range of different pathogens with vastly different treatments.

Understanding the dynamics of viral shedding within Norovirus infected subjects

Simran Budhwar from the University of Virginia, worked with Rachel Mercaldo, Brian McKay, and Dr. Andreas Handel to study shedding of Norovirus. Abstract: Norovirus (NoV) is a common cause of acute gastroenteritis. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to complications such as dehydration and also serve to spread viral particles through bodily fluids.

Genomics of bacterial symbionts to determine nutritional roles in plant-sap feeding insects

Michael Lansford, a student at the University of Rochester, worked with Dustin Dial and Dr. Gaelen Burke Abstract: Adelgids are sap-sucking insects that contain bacterial endosymbionts to help them synthesize essential amino acids. The adelgid life cycle alternates between sexual generations that parasitize spruce as a primary host and asexual generations that parasitize a secondary

To skip or not to skip: exploring the connections between orviposition behavior and density –dependence in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes

Taryn Waite, a student at Colby College, collaborated with REU student Courtney Schreiner, Nicole Solano, Dr. Craig Osenberg, and Dr. Courtney Murdock. Abstract: Conspecific density in larval habitats is an important factor affecting adult fitness in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, as it drives competition for food and space. We conducted a larval density experiment wherein mason

Who infected whom? Creating a database of transmission trees for comparative outbreak analysis

Juliana Taube, a student at Bowdoin College, worked with Paige Miller and Dr. John Drake. Abstract: Transmission trees contain valuable details about who infected whom in infectious disease outbreaks. We created a database with 81 published, standardized transmission trees consisting of 12 directly-transmitted pathogens (mostly viruses). We also demonstrated how the database could be used

Vive la resistance: the impact of antibiotic use in US livestock on emerging antibiotic resistance

Sydney Rentsch, a junior from Connecticut College, worked with Dr. JP Schmidt to examine the relationship between antibiotic use and resistance in US livestock. Abstract:  The potential for livestock to spread antibiotic resistant pathogens to human populations is a cause for concern. This research focused on finding trends in data on US livestock antibiotic resistance,