The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Vertical transmission of Ross River virus in mosquito vectors

Fazakerley Group

Alphaviruses such as Ross River virus, chikungunya and Semliki Forest virus are transmitted by mosquito vectors between susceptible vertebrate hosts. In vertebrates, these viruses usually cause acute infections characterised by high virus production and development of disease symptoms. By contrast, when a mosquito becomes infected by an alphavirus (usually by a blood-meal), the acute infection does not show any evident disease symptoms that affect mosquito fitness. Moreover, the mosquito becomes persistently infected with virus and it is able to transmit it for the rest of its life. In addition, it has recently been suggested that vertical transmission of alphaviruses might play a role in maintaining the virus circulating within the mosquito population.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Julio Rodriguez 

Project Co-supervisor

Professor John Fazakerley

Project availability

Fazakerley Group

[email protected]

2 vacancies

Host Pathogens Interactions
Viral Infectious Diseases
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Fazakerley group’s main interest is in the pathogenesis of infections caused by RNA viruses, in particular vector-borne (arbovirus) alphaviruses infections of the central nervous system and insect vectors. Our main focus is to dissect the immune mechanisms during viral encephalitis and virus persistence in the central nervous system. We also investigate the arthropod responses to alphaviruses and study their transmission in mosquito vectors.