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Image: Mattias Pettersson

Olivia Wesula Lwande lab

Research group Our research focuses on the virus-mosquito and mosquito-host interactions.

We work on mosquito-borne viruses (moboviruses) that infect humans and animals via mosquitoes and cause disease. With climate change and global transport, diseases can spread globally. These viruses are associated with specific mosquito species and different animal and avian hosts. The transmission of viruses depends on how efficient the transmission between these hosts is.

The research aims to understand which mosquito species and hosts are involved in this transmission, as well as what determines the efficiency of transmission. I study how different mosquito-borne viruses can infect different tissues in the mosquito and how well the virus is transferred from the mosquito to a susceptible host.

We also investigate how viruses are maintained in nature through the various host animals, for example birds, humans and livestock. Estimating the risk of invasion, establishment and spread of exotic mosquito-borne diseases is important for community planning. It is also important to consider the effects of climate change and the risk of increased flooding. The results of the research may lead to methods to combat mosquito-borne viral infections and their spread.

Head of research

Olivia Wesula Luande
Research fellow


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Arctic Centre at Umeå University, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR)

Research area

Infection biology

External funding

Formas, Swedish Research Council

External funding

Get to know Olivia Wesula Lwande – New UCMR PI

Olivia from Kenya studies mosquito-borne viruses and looks forward to new collaborations within UCMR.

Latest update: 2023-11-06