Dan Stinchcomb works with infectious diseases and this lecture focused on multiple viruses assosciated with mosquito vectors and multiple hosts, as well as vaccine research for the mentioned viruses. The first virus he mentioned was Dengue which can be very debilitating to the person who is infected. There are four different Dengue viruses and each of them respond to vaccines differently. Different vaccine trials were administered to populations of people between the ages of 21-45 in Dengue ridden areas in order to study the potentcy and effectiveness of the vaccines on the four Dengue Viruses before they were administered to younger and younger age groups. There was one newer vaccine administered that was faster and more effective at developing a broader immune response to the viruses.
West Nile was another briefly metioned virus in which the vectors were avian and mosquitos were hosts. However, West Nile in humans was contracted via avian vectors, and not by mosquitos (at least, that is how I understood it). He said West Nile Virus originated in the West Nile of Uganda and that humans are dead end hosts that cannot spread the virus from person to person.
There were two other viruses discussed along with Zika. Zika has actually been around for a long time. People originially thought it looked most similar to the Yellow Fever Virus, but it is more closely related to West Nile.
In the end, research in vaccines for viruses of all types, including RNA viruses, is an ever growing field, especially since humans are a new vector to emerging diseases.
How it relates to class:
We have discussed viruses in class, and I am pretty sure there was even brief mention of the Zika virus.
I really enjoyed this seminar lecture. It was rather interesting overall. I found Dengue fever viruses the most intriguing because I never realized there were four different viruses. I also did not know that if you were to be exposed to Dengue 1 virus, your body will develop antibodies for that virus. If that same person is exposed to Dengue 2 virus, they have a worse time trying to develop effective antibodies. I actually found the entire lecture intriguing and most of the material in the lecture was new to me.