Skip to main content

You are here

Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

Alexander T. Ciota, Ph.D.

Director, Arbovirus Laboratory
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany
M.S., Tufts University (2001)
Ph.D., SUNY Albany (2012)

Research Interests

Dr. Ciota is Deputy Director of the Arbovirus Laboratory, which performs testing, surveillance and research of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). The lab studies both mosquito and tick-borne agents including the flaviviruses West Nile virus (WNV), Zika virus (ZIKV), dengue virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus and Powassan virus, as well as alphaviruses Eastern equine encephalitis virus and chikungunya virus, among others. The unique facilities which comprise the Arbovirus lab allow for extensive experimentation in a range of natural invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. Dr. Ciota’s primary research areas include arbovirus evolution, mosquito-virus interactions and the influence of climate change on virus transmission.

Specific studies include understanding arbovirus microevolution both within and among hosts and vectors, defining how specific interactions between viral and vector genomes influence transmissibility in distinct environments, defining the role of the viral replicase in viral fitness and evolution, and identifying how unique microbial signatures influence vectorial capacity. The overarching goal of these studies is to gain a better understanding of the factors that shape patterns of arbovirus transmission and ultimately to influence public health interventions in New York State and beyond.

Select Publications

Onyango MG, Bialosuknia SM, Payne AF, Mathias N, Kuo L, Vigneron A, DeGennaro M, Ciota AT, Kramer LD.
Increased temperatures reduce the vectorial capacity of Aedes mosquitoes for Zika virus.
Emerg Microbes Infect.
(2020)
9
(1):
67-77.
DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2019.1707125
Kuo L, Jaeger AS, Banker EM, Bialosuknia SM, Mathias N, Payne AF, Kramer LD, Aliota MT, Ciota AT.
Reversion to ancestral Zika virus NS1 residues increases competence of Aedes albopictus.
PLoS Pathog.
(2020)
16
(10):
e1008951.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008951
Bonenfant G, Meng R, Shotwell C, Badu P, Payne AF, Ciota AT, Sammons MA, Berglund JA, Pager CT.
Asian Zika Virus Isolate Significantly Changes the Transcriptional Profile and Alternative RNA Splicing Events in a Neuroblastoma Cell Line.
Viruses.
(2020)
12
(5):
510.
DOI: 10.3390/v12050510
Caldwell HS, Ngo K, Pata JD, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
West Nile Virus fidelity modulates the capacity for host cycling and adaptation.
J Gen Virol.
(2020)
101
(4):
410-419.
DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.001393
Ciota AT, Keyel AC.
The Role of Temperature in Transmission of Zoonotic Arboviruses.
Viruses.
(2019)
11
(11):
1013.
DOI: 10.3390/v11111013
Bialosuknia SM, Tan Y, Zink SD, Koetzner CA, Maffei JG, Halpin RA, Muller E, Novatny M, Shilts M, Fedorova NB, Amedeo P, Das SR, Pickett B, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
Evolutionary dynamics and molecular epidemiology of West Nile virus in New York State: 1999-2015.
Virus Evol.
(2019)
5
(2):
vez020.
DOI: 10.1093/ve/vez020
Ciota AT, Bialosuknia SM, Zink SD, Brecher M, Ehrbar DJ, Morrissette MN, Kramer LD.
Effects of Zika Virus Strain and Aedes Mosquito Species on Vector Competence.
Emerging Infectious Diseases.
(2017)
23
(7):
1110-1117.
Ehrbar DJ, Ngo KA, Campbell SR, Kramer LD, Ciota AT.
High levels of local inter- and intra-host genetic variation of West Nile virus and evidence of fine-scale evolutionary pressures.
(2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.04.010
Ciota AT, Payne AF, Kramer LD.
West Nile virus adaptation to ixodid tick cells is associated with phenotypic trade-offs in primary hosts.
Virology.
(2015)
482
(NULL):
128-132.
Van Slyke GA, Arnold JJ, Lugo AJ, Griesemer SB, Moustafa IM, Kramer LD, Cameron CE, Ciota AT.
Sequence-Specific Fidelity Alterations Associated with West Nile Virus Attenuation in Mosquitoes.
PLoS Pathogens.
(2015)
11
(6):
e1005009.
Ciota AT, Payne AF, Kramer LD.
West Nile virus adaptation to ixodid tick cells is associated with phenotypic trade-offs in primary hosts.
Virology.
(2015)
482
(NULL):
128-132.
Ciota AT, Payne AF, Ngo KA, Kramer LD.
Consequences of in vitro host shift for St. Louis encephalitis virus.
J Gen Virol.
(2014)
95
(Pt 6):
1281-8.
Ciota AT, Ehrbar DJ, Matacchiero AC, Van Slyke GA, Kramer LD.
The evolution of virulence of West Nile virus in a mosquito vector: implications for arbovirus adaptation and evolution - art. no. 71.
BMC Evolutionary Biology.
(2013)
13
(71):
20.
Ciota AT, Ehrbar DJ, Van Slyke GA, Willsey GG, Kramer LD.
Cooperative interactions in the West Nile virus mutant swarm.
BMC Evolutionary Biology.
(2012)
12
(58):
27.