Newsletter Issue #64
Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases
+ News and Updates     +New Publication
Participate in the PacVec needs assessment!
Our center is conducting a needs assessment to understand perceived gaps in training and workforce needs relating to vector-borne disease and public health. Information gained from the needs assessment will be used to develop a PacVec short-course training curriculum to meet the needs of vector control and public health agencies and to expand the potential recruitment pool for the vector control workforce. Learn more about PacVec here. Please circulate this needs assessment among your networks within the Pacific Southwest. Participate in the needs assessment by Friday, September 18th, 2020!
Systematic review: Impact of socioeconomic factors on Aedes aegypti mosquito distribution in the mainland United States

Across most of its distribution, Aedes aegypti relies on human blood meals and peridomestic habitats for reproduction. Due to the close relationship between Ae. aegypti and humans, socioeconomic factors may affect the spread of Ae. aegypti. PacVec trainee Whitney Holeva-Eklund led a systematic review of the published literature on the associations between socioeconomic variables and the distribution of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in the mainland US. The paper points to inconsistent relationships between the studied socioeconomic factors and the distribution and abundance of Ae. aegypti [full article].

Update on arbovirus activity in the Pacific Southwest
More mosquitoes from counties across the Pacific Southwest have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). WNV disease reported:
Vector control and public health agencies continue to urge the public to take precautions such as applying repellents on exposed skin and getting rid of mosquito breeding sites.

Read More:
Madera County, CA                        Tulare County, CA                                    San Bernardino County, CA  
Orange County, CA                        
Los Angeles County, CA                           Merced County, CA
Canyon County, ID                         Cache County, UT                                     Contra Costa County, CA 
Dengue continues in the US-affiliated Pacific Islands
Republic of Marshall Islands: There have been 3,561 cases (20 more cases since 19 August) of dengue-like illness (DLI), of which 1,704 have been laboratory-confirmed between May 2019 and 24 August 2020. Two deaths were reported since June 2019. The outbreak is reported to be ongoing.

Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM): A total of 39 DLI cases were seen during epi weeks 32-34 bringing the total number of DLI cases to 1,785 since 1 January 2019
[read full article].
New online training course on vector surveillance methods from eCornell
Learn to develop an effective vector surveillance program, collect data, and communicate risk with the Cornell Entomology Department and eCornell in the newest online course Vector-Borne Diseases Surveillance. Take this 3-week instructor-led course with Dr. Laura Harrington and learn best practices to implement vector surveillance, data, and reporting methods.
Aedes Challenge 2020: Model forecasts invited
UPDATE: Because of the many challenges caused by COVID-19, we have decided to accept forecasts for the Aedes Challenge throughout the remainder of 2020. Interested modeling groups may register at anytime, and forecasts must be submitted before the first day of the month(s) being predicted. See the original announcement below, along with the link to the Aedes Challenge website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases and the CDC Epidemic Prediction Initiative, in collaboration with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases, are pleased to announce an open Aedes forecasting challenge for 2020. The Aedes Forecasting Challenge focuses on predicting the seasonal presence of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in a subset of U.S. counties from multiple states across the country. The challenge is open to anyone and any methodological approach. Further details on how to submit forecasts can be found on CDC's Epidemic Prediction Initiative website. Please disseminate this announcement widely to any modelers who may be interested. Any questions can be directed to
PacVec Resistance Testing
The Kearney Center has transitioned to remote work as a precaution due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means any requested insecticide resistance testing or workshops will need to wait until normal activities resume. Dr. Anton Cornel and Katherine Brisco will still be available to offer resistance testing support and guidance at this time through email ( or teleconferencing.
Videos on Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing
In collaboration with partners at the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, PacVec CoE has produced new training videos providing an overview of resistance testing for larval mosquitoes. The videos discuss the rationale for monitoring resistance in mosquitoes, an overview of dose responses and how the dose response changes as resistance to larvicides evolves in a mosquito population, the different types of larval mosquito control agents, the supplies needed for carrying out bioassays, bioassay set-up and making stock solutions of control agents, and interpreting the bioassay results. See the videos and related materials at
Need Bottle Bioassay Testing?
If you have mosquito (Aedes or Culex) samples to be tested for insecticide resistance, PacVec is providing testing and training services at no charge, and all results will be returned to you. Dr. Anton Cornel's laboratory is leading this activity and organizing various regional training workshops on bottle bioassay testing. If you are interested, please contact us right away at to arrange for shipment and timing of the testing.

Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing:
Vector Control and Public Health Agencies Need Summer Interns for 2020, or Just Help Advertising Positions for Students?
Please contact us anytime if your agency has seasonal positions that may be of interest to undergraduate students in the Pacific Southwest region. Such positions are important formative experiences for students, and they are excellent opportunities to raise awareness of career opportunities in vector-borne diseases. These can be simple job postings that we will advertise to our undergraduates or we can help you partner with faculty for project-based internships that involve academic credit with a faculty mentor and possible continued data analysis during the school year. If you are interested, please send us a note at To maximize your audience and reach the best candidates for your positions, please send us these position announcements as early as possible, ideally in January or February, before students have settled their summer plans.
Seasonal Vector Control Operator
Coachella Valley MVCD

Salary: $14.00 - $15.00 hourly
Location: Indio, CA
Applications due: Open until filled
Seasonal Mosquito Control Aide
East Side MAD

Salary: $13.50 - $15.00 hourly
Location: Modesto, CA
Applications due: Open until filled

Assistant Vector Control Technician
Antelope Valley MVCD

Salary: $14.25 hourly
Location: Lancaster, CA
Applications due: Open until filled
ORISE Fellowship, CDC Disease Ecology
A research opportunity is available with the Entomology and Ecology team in the Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch within the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will study rickettsial organisms and their arthropod vectors in laboratory and field settings, enhancing their understanding of the biology, ecology, and pathogenesis of vector-borne infections.
Applications due: 10/21/2020 3PM ET
Postdoctoral Research Associate
The Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEVBD) program at Cornell University is seeking to fill a postdoctoral research associate position focused on pesticide resistance monitoring of mosquito and tick populations in the northeastern United States. The selected candidate will focus on determining the status and extent of resistance in the region through the NEVBD pesticide resistance monitoring program (
They are seeking a candidate to fill the position immediately, with a preferred start date in September-October 2020. This is a full-time position with a one-year contract from the start date, with renewal contingent upon performance and availability of funds.

Applications due: Accepted until position filled
Apply at: Contact Laura C. Harrington (

Postdoctoral position
The Department of Tropical Medicine in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is seeking to fill a postdoctoral position focused on the molecular identification and characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi parasites and genomic analysis of T. cruzi.

Location: New Orleans, LA
Applications due: Accepted until position filled

Postdoctoral Associate
A postdoctoral position is available in the Perera Lab at Colorado State University, focused on the identification of metabolic biomarkers of viral infection in the human host and mosquito vectors.

Salary: $47,000.00 - $52,000.00 yearly
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Postdoctoral Position in Population Genomics
A postdoctoral position is available in the Armbruster Lab at Georgetown University to study the population genomics of range expansion and climatic adaptation in the invasive mosquito, Aedes albopictus. The initial appointment will be for one year, with extension for an additional 1.5 years based on excellent performance.

Start Date: Ideally sometime in October thru December 2020
Salary: ~$49,000 annually with benefits

Review of applications will begin July 1, 2020 and continue until the position has been filled.
Postdoctoral Position
A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Nicolas Buchon at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA), for a highly motivated candidate to study host-microbe interactions, epithelial dynamics and stem cell biology in Aedes aegypti. The research project, funded by NIH (R01-AI148529), will use a combination of omics (transcriptomics, epigenomics, single cell omics), functional genetics (transgenesis, CRISPR), microbiology and imaging to study how microbes and parasites influence epithelial dynamics in the mosquito midgut.

Location: Ithaca, NY

Consideration of applications will begin immediately.
Regional Medical Entomologist
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is seeking a Program Specialst III - Regional Medical Entomologist, located in Houston, TX. The Regional Medical Entomologist performs complex (journey-level) consultative services, technical assistance work, and field work relating to medical entomology and the prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.

Salary: $3,520.33 - $4,633.50
Location: Houston, TX
Applications due: 09/03/2020
Division Coordinator
Ada County is inviting applications to fill this position. The Division Coordinator will be responsible for the leadership for specific divisions in field applications, mapping and surveillance in Ada County; ensures the implementation and execution of procedures necessary for weed, pest, or mosquito daily operations; and, prepares reports through the use of computer software, and performs related functions as required.

Salary: $20.28 hourly
Location: Meridian, ID
Associate Professor, Arbovirologist
The Department of Tropical Medicine in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is seeking a prominent investigator in arboviral research to develop a Center of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. The candidate should have a well-developed program in the area of molecular epidemiology, immunology, molecular biology, pathogenesis or pathogen-vector interactions for one or several arboviruses.

Location: New Orleans, LA
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is inviting applications for the position: Director, for their new Lyme and Tick-borne Disease Institute for Research and Education. The position will perform faculty recruitment, expand and coordinate existing institutional research efforts, and to maintain their own vibrant research program. The search committee for this position expects to review applications summer, 2020, and thus application materials should be submitted by August 31, 2020.

Location: Baltimore, MD
Applications due: Open until filled 
Visit PacVec Careers
NEW! Holeva-Ecklund WM, Behrens TK, Hepp CM. Systematic review: the impact of socioeconomic factors on Aedes aegypti mosquito distribution in the mainland United States. Rev Environ Health. 2020.

Schoor TV, Kelly ET, Tam N, Attardo GM. Impacts of dietary nutritional composition on larval development and adult body composition in the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Insects. 2020.

Wang B, Thurmond S, Zhou K, Sánchez-Aparicio MT, Fang J, Hai R et al. Structural basis for STAT2 suppression by flavivirus NS5. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2020.

Donnelly MAP, Kluh S, Synder RE, Barker CM. Quantifying sociodemographic heterogeneities in the distribution of Aedes aegypti among California households. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020.

Sambado S, Saloman J, Crews A, & Swei A. Mixed transmission modes promote persistence of an emerging tick-borne pathogen. Disease Ecology. 2020.

Mader EM, Ganser C, Geiger A, Harrington LC, Foley J, Smith et al. A survey of tick surveillance and control practices in the United States. J Med Entomol. 2020.

Comeau G, Zinna RA, Scott T, Erst K, Walker K, Carrière Y, Riehle MA. Vertical transmission of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti produces potentially infectious progeny. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020.

Swetnam DM, Stuart JB, Young K, Maharaj PD, Fang Y, Garcia S…Coffey LL. Movement of St. Louis encephalitis virus in the Western United States, 2014-2018. PLoS Neg Trop Dis. 2020 Jun.

Yeh KB, Fair JM, Smith W, Martinez Torres T, Lucas J & Monagin C et al. Assessing climate change impact on ecosystems and infectious disease: Important roles for genomic sequencing and a One Health perspective. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2020.

López-Pérez AM, Orozco L, Zazueta OE, Fierro M, Gomez P, Foley J. An exploratory analysis of demography and movement patterns of dogs: new insights in the ecology of endemic Rocky Mountain-Spotted Fever in Mexicali, Mexico. PLoS One. 2020.
Interested in viewing more articles from PacVec researchers?
Visit PacVec Publications
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