Dr. Abelardo Moncayo ('15)

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(Speaker Term: 7/1/13 - 6/30/15)

630 Hart Lane
Nashville, TN  37243 

Phone:  615-262-6356
Fax:  615-262-6324 
E-mail:  abelardo.moncayo@tn.gov

Speaker’s URL:  http://globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/vigh-people/expanded/view/?id=61




Epidemiology of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia in the U.S.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii and is transmitted primarily by the American dog tick. It has recently been suggested that multiple species of rickettsia may be responsible for causing what is clinically described as RMSF and that ticks other than the American dog tick may be important in transmitting these pathogens to humans. This lecture will describe studies on ticks, wildlife, canines and humans in Tennessee, a hyperendemic state for RMSF.    


Use of Flanders Virus as a Sentinel for the Emergence of Co-Circulating West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) and Flanders virus (FLAV) co-circulate in Culex mosquitoes since the arrival of WNV to North America. We hypothesized that detection of FLAV can be utilized to predict the location and timing of WNV in areas where these two viruses co-circulate. We trapped over 1 million mosquitoes in the southeastern United States from 2001 to 2009 and tested them via cell culture and RealTime PCR for both WNV and FLAV. GIS analyses were conducted to determine temporal and spatial relationships between these two viruses. FLAV appeared prior to WNV by almost 2 months in Memphis, TN, and by approximately one month in Atlanta, GA. FLAV had a positive predictive value of as high as 90% for WNV within small geographic areas. FLAV therefore is able to serve as a sentinel for WNV and as a trigger for public health control and prevention interventions targeting WNV.


Chagas Disease in the U.S… Really?  

Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is endemic in Latin America and affects an estimated 9-10 million. Autochthonous transmission of T. cruzi appears to occur in the United States. This lecture will describe studies in wildlife and canines conducted in the southeastern United States. The potential risk of transmission to humans and domestic animals and its implications will be discussed.          


Latin-American Style Transmission of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in the U.S.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is the most severe arboviral disease in the world due to its morbidity and mortality. EEE in the United States occurs mainly in coastal areas where the principal mosquito vector, Culiseta melanura, maintains transmission in swamp habitats among birds. Recently, inland cases have occurred in areas with very limited or no habitat for Cs. melanura. It appears that another mosquito vector is maintaining EEE virus in these inland sites. This mosquito is an opportunistic feeder, feeding on rodents, in a way that is similar to the transmission of EEE virus and other encephalitis viruses in Latin America.      


The Emergence of La Crosse Encephalitis in Appalachia

La Crosse Virus (LAC) is a mosquito-borne virus and a major cause of pediatric encephalitis in the United States. LAC emerged in Tennessee and other states in the Appalachian region in 1997. We investigated the potential roles of the native mosquito vector, Aedes triseraitus, and two recently introduced mosquito species, Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus, in LAC transmission in an emerging disease focus in Tennessee. Maximum likelihood ratios varied among the tree vector species from 3.55 for A. triseriatus, 2.87 for A. albopictus, to 0.63 for A. japonicus. This may be related to the length of time the species have been present in the area, with A. triseriatus as the native species and A. albopictus and A. japonicus as recent invaders. We conclude that A. triseraitus and A. albopictus are important vectors and that A. japonicus is also likely contributing to LAC transmission.                                      


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Dr. Abelardo Moncayo

Abelardo C. Moncayo, M.S., Ph.D. is the Director of the Tennessee Vector-Borne Diseases Program at the State Department of Health, Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and Lecturer at the Center for Medicine, Health and Society where he teaches Global Health. He earned his undergraduate and M.S. degrees from Ohio University and his Ph.D. in medical entomology from the University of Massachusetts. After his Ph.D., he was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Tropical Diseases and Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, where his research focused on the molecular evolution, epidemiology and ecology of mosquito-borne arboviruses in Latin America and Africa.


Dr. Moncayo currently oversees all state vector-borne disease surveillance activities in Tennessee and directs the State Vector-Borne Diseases Laboratory where he trains research fellows and students. His research interests include understanding the epidemiology, ecology and clinical outcome of vector-borne diseases to identify risk factors and inform disease control and prevention measures. He also serves as Vice-President and Region IV Director for the National Association of Vector Disease Control Officials and is President and co-founder of the Tennessee Mosquito and Vector Control Association.


CV is available upon request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters.



Primary Division:  Y (Public Health)

Secondary Division:  C (Clinical Microbiology)


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