University of Wyoming
1174 Snowy Range Road
Laramie, WY 82070
Phone: (307) 766-9925
Fax: (307) 721-2051
My research interest is in animal diseases caused by viral pathogens. A particular interest is in viral diseases that affect both domestic animals and wildlife species in Wyoming, and the ways that the interactions of these populations in the natural environment affect the natural ecology of the disease.
A current research project is assessing the incidence of bluetongue virus (BTV) infection in domestic sheep and susceptible wildlife. BTV is a non-contagious virus transmitted by an insect vector, and can cause high morbidity and mortality in domestic and wild ungulates. A current project is to examine serum samples for the presence of BTV-specific antibodies to determine infection rates in domestic sheep, deer, and pronghorn. Infection rates will be mapped using Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) (http://www.uwyo.edu/wygisc/), and analyzed to determine if there are landscape and climate correlates related to risk for infection.
An ongoing research project is to following the duration of immunity of sheep vaccinated with a modified live vaccine for Rift Valley Fever, a vector-borne disease of ruminant animals and humans in Africa. This vaccine has been shown to produce a strong protective antibody response in sheep, but it is not yet known how quickly these antibody levels will decline. These sheep are being tested for the presence of neutralizing antibodies for duration of two years.
There are also a range of research projects to be chosen from novel virus isolates made from diagnostic samples sent to the Wyoming State Veterinary laboratory sections of virology and electron microscopy. These viruses have yet to be fully characterized or even classified.
PATB 4710/5710 • Medical Virology