Infections transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks represent some of the most difficult and persistent problems facing public health and medicine. The Ebel Lab, as part of the CSU Center for Vector-borne Infectious Diseases, is mainly interested in arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), such as West Nile, dengue, and Zika viruses. We exist to help find ways to make these types of infections less burdensome. Our research addresses several areas, including arbovirus population biology and evolution, mechanisms that permit mosquitoes to transmit arboviruses, mosquito immunity, and disease surveillance. Our currently funded projects focus on West Nile, dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses, as well as the mosquitoes that transmit them. We are also involved in developing novel methods for detecting emerging viruses in resource-poor settings such as rural West Africa.
We take a multidisciplinary approach to science that combines classical virology, entomology, and molecular and computational biology. Central concepts that guide our work include the notion that arthropod-borne viruses, like other RNA viruses, form genetically complex populations within individual hosts, and that natural selection powerfully shapes which of these variants are most fit in a given environment. We are also active in local health initiatives that consist mainly of efforts to limit the impact of West Nile virus in Fort Collins and elsewhere on the great plains.
Quasispecies dynamics in arbovirus persistence emergence and fitness
Predicting genetic determinants of Zika virus emergence
Emergence of tick-borne encephalitis in North America
Role of cell tropism for Zika virus pathogenesis and transmission
Engineering therapies that evolve to autonomously control epidemics
Scanning barcodes: A way to explore viral populations.
PLoS Pathog. 2023 Apr 20;19(4):e1011291. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1011291. eCollection 2023 Apr.PMID: 37079527
Type I interferon shapes brain distribution and tropism of tick-borne flavivirus.
Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 10;14(1):2007. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-37698-0.PMID: 37037810
Phylodynamics of deer tick virus in North America.
Virus Evol. 2023 Jan 27;9(1):vead008. doi: 10.1093/ve/vead008. eCollection 2023.PMID: 36846826
The Incompetence of Mosquitoes-Can Zika Virus Be Adapted To Infect Culex tarsalis Cells?
mSphere. 2023 Apr 20;8(2):e0001523. doi: 10.1128/msphere.00015-23. Epub 2023 Feb 16.PMID: 36794947
Genomic and phenotypic analyses suggest moderate fitness differences among Zika virus lineages.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2023 Feb 8;17(2):e0011055. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0011055. eCollection 2023 Feb.PMID: 36753510
news and updates
CBS Colorado covers the recent NIH funding to CSU to build a state-of-the-art bat research facility which will facilitate the breeding and research of bats.
Greg Ebel discusses how his lab’s history with arbovirus surveillance poised the team to respond to the early COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ebel Lab is part of the newly-awarded Verena (Viral Emergence Research Initiative) Biology Integration Institute, intent to discover more about the science of the host-virus network.