The broad objectives of this research proposal are to elucidate the ecology, vertebrate host associations, genetic diversity and human disease potential of arenaviruses present in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The recent identification of a new arenavirus, Whitewater Arroyo (WWA), infecting rodents in New Mexico and serologic evidence that WWA or related arenaviruses are widely distributed in woodrat (Neotoma spp.) populations throughout the Southwest, raise the real possibility that these agents may be of some public health importance in the region.
The specific aims of this project are (l) to determine the geographic distribution and rodent host associations of WWA virus in the Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico; (2) to study the genetic associations among various woodrat species-and arenaviruses occurring in the same region; (3) to investigate the pathogenesis of WAA virus in its presumed natural rodent host, N albigula; and (4) to determine the prevalence, risk factors and disease associations of infection with WWA and related arenaviruses among humans living in the endemic region. This research is a collaborative effort between scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston) and Texas Tech University (Lubbock). The project is of 3 years duration, consists of both field and laboratory studies, and involves the disciplines of virology, pathology, molecular biology, genetics, mammalogy, ecology and epidemiology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG5-TMP (01))
Program Officer
Meegan, James M
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University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Milazzo, Mary Louise; Cajimat, Maria N B; Mauldin, Matthew R et al. (2015) Epizootiology of Tacaribe serocomplex viruses (Arenaviridae) associated with neotomine rodents (Cricetidae, Neotominae) in southern California. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 15:156-66
Milazzo, Mary L; Amman, Brian R; Cajimat, Maria N B et al. (2013) Ecology of Catarina virus (family Arenaviridae) in southern Texas, 2001-2004. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 13:50-9
Cajimat, Maria N B; Milazzo, Mary Louise; Mauldin, Matthew R et al. (2013) Diversity among Tacaribe serocomplex viruses (Family Arenaviridae) associated with the southern plains woodrat (Neotoma micropus). Virus Res 178:486-94
Cajimat, Maria N B; Milazzo, Mary Louise; Bradley, Robert D et al. (2012) Ocozocoautla de espinosa virus and hemorrhagic fever, Mexico. Emerg Infect Dis 18:401-5
Milazzo, Mary L; Cajimat, Maria N B; Romo, Hannah E et al. (2012) Geographic distribution of hantaviruses associated with neotomine and sigmodontine rodents, Mexico. Emerg Infect Dis 18:571-6
Milazzo, Mary L; Fulhorst, Charles F (2012) Duration of Catarina virus infection in the southern plains woodrat (Neotoma micropus). Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 12:321-4
Cajimat, Maria N B; Milazzo, Mary Louise; Haynie, Michelle L et al. (2011) Diversity and phylogenetic relationships among the North American Tacaribe serocomplex viruses (family Arenaviridae). Virology 421:87-95
Milazzo, Mary Louise; Campbell, Grant L; Fulhorst, Charles F (2011) Novel arenavirus infection in humans, United States. Emerg Infect Dis 17:1417-20
Pinto, C Miguel; Baxter, B Dnate; Hanson, J Delton et al. (2010) Using museum collections to detect pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis 16:356-7
Inizan, Catherine C; Cajimat, Maria N B; Milazzo, Mary Louise et al. (2010) Genetic evidence for a tacaribe serocomplex virus, Mexico. Emerg Infect Dis 16:1007-10

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