Mayo Lab

Pathogens ranging from coronavirus to influenza virus periodically undergo major evolutionary jumps in their phenotypes, enabling them to infect novel host species and evade host immune responses and interventions. Understanding the genetics of these events and the ecological context in which these events occur is important for mitigating associated adverse health outcomes.

Our research focuses on bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), which have segmented genomes like influenza and undergo reassortment regularly in transmission systems worldwide. These segmented viruses, transmitted by Culicoides midges in diverse ruminant communities, offer the possibility of understanding how multiple interacting mechanisms facilitate, or limit, opportunities for genetic exchange to occur between distinct virus strains through the process of reassortment.

The ecological context for the emergence of reassortant viral strains emphasizes the ecology of the Culicoides midges that vector these viruses. Life traits of both the viruses and vectors are highly temperature sensitive and the efficiency of transmission could be affected by imminent climate change, variability and crisis. Furthermore, transmission takes place in the context of diverse ruminant communities at the domesticated animal-wildlife interface, with interactions among those animals likely playing a role for diverse strains to meet and spread.

Our experimental system in North America is uniquely valuable for investigating this dynamic in that it offers a platform to intensively study one key midge vector species (Culicoides sonorensis) and multiple wild and domestic ruminant host species across regions with wide ecological gradients. Throughout our work, we integrate laboratory, field, and modeling approaches to address key questions in our research program.

The Mayo Lab is a part of the Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases at Colorado State University.

research project

NAHLN Enhancement: Novel Approach to Diagnose Characterize High Consequence Pathogens

Comprehensive and time sensitive characterization of infectious agents such as avian influenza plays a crucial role in routine diagnostics, disease surveillance, and epidemic response. This work combines next generation sequencing with a bead based Luminex MagPix platform in order to generate robust and cost-effective workflow for deeper interrogation of these pathogens.

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research project

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Disease Vectors

This project monitors the insect populations at four dairies and four horse farms within Colorado. Insects are collected with Mosquito Magnet traps, then sent to the Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit (ABADRU) for analysis using next generation sequencing to look for: (1) VSV infection and (2) population genetics to identify migration between farms and the river samples.

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research project

Cross-scale dynamics of multi-host vector-borne pathogens at the wildlife-domestic interface in ruminant communities

This research examines the role of host density, host diversity, and viral reassortment on transmission dynamics of vector-borne diseases using bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), transmitted by Culicoides midges, as our model system.

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research project

The Impact of Viral Recombination on the Epidemiology of Viruses

This project aims to create an extensive library of viral segment genomes by using next generation sequencing to characterize hundreds of bluetongue viral isolates from a collection maintained at FABADRU. This genomic information will be used to create a viral evolution forecasting tool to support both prediction of outbreak events and management of insect vector populations.

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Bluetongue Research at a Crossroads: Modern Genomics Tools Can Pave the Way to New Insights.

Kopanke J, Carpenter M, Lee J, Reed K, Rodgers C, Burton M, Lovett K, Westrich JA, McNulty E, McDermott E, Barbera C, Cavany S, Rohr JR, Perkins TA, Mathiason CK, Stenglein M, Mayo C.
Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2022 Feb 15;10:303-324. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-051721-023724. PMID: 35167317

Exposure of Culicoides sonorensis to Enzootic Strains of Bluetongue Virus Demonstrates Temperature- and Virus-Specific Effects on Virogenesis.

Kopanke J, Lee J, Stenglein M, Carpenter M, Cohnstaedt LW, Wilson WC, Mayo C.
Viruses. 2021 May 28;13(6):1016. doi: 10.3390/v13061016. PMID: 34071483

Diagnostic applications of molecular and serological assays for bluetongue and African horse sickness.

Mayo CE, Weyer CT, Carpenter MJ, Reed KJ, Rodgers CP, Lovett KM, Guthrie AJ, Mullens BA, Barker CM, Reisen WK, MacLachlan NJ.
Rev Sci Tech. 2021 Jun;40(1):91-104. doi: 10.20506/rst.40.1.3210. PMID: 34140738

The Genetic Diversification of a Single Bluetongue Virus Strain Using an In Vitro Model of Alternating-Host Transmission.

Kopanke JH, Lee JS, Stenglein MD, Mayo CE.
Viruses. 2020 Sep 18;12(9):1038. doi: 10.3390/v12091038. PMID: 32961886

Maternal Influenza A Virus Infection Restricts Fetal and Placental Growth and Adversely Affects the Fetal Thymic Transcriptome.

Van Campen H, Bishop JV, Abrahams VM, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Mathiason CK, Bouma GJ, Winger QA, Mayo CE, Bowen RA, Hansen TR.
Viruses. 2020 Sep 8;12(9):1003. doi: 10.3390/v12091003. PMID: 32911797

more publications


Christie Mayo, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator [PI]
Associate Professor

Kirsten Reed

Research Associate III

Ty Sherman, Ph.D.

Research Associate III, Veterinary Diagnostics Labs

Natasha Hodges

Research Associate I, Veterinary Diagnostic Labs

Mollie Burton, D.V.M.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Molly Carpenter, D.V.M.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Tillie Dunham

Graduate Research Assistant

Sam Hilty

Veterinary Summer Scholar

Sophie Zook

Veterinary Summer Scholar

Jackson Gregory

Student Researcher

Colin Korte

Student Researcher

Aubriee McGinty

Student Researcher

Lily Wagoner

Student Researcher

Tim Wolbers

Student Researcher

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