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John Lednicky - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

John Lednicky

Research Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

John Lednicky focuses on microbiology and molecular biology, various bacteria, fungi and viruses, including influenza and coronaviruses.


John Lednicky has training and experience in microbiology and molecular biology, various bacteria, fungi and viruses, including influenza and coronaviruses. Research in his aerobiology laboratory includes studies on the mechanisms of respiratory pathogens, assessments of inhalation threats posed by airborne pathogens, vaccine efficacy/safety studies, and the refinement of air-sampling technologies for the detection of airborne pathogens. Recent research includes finding that the Zika virus was present in Haiti several months before the first Zika cases were identified in Brazil, and the discovery of a case of Mayaro virus in a patient in Haiti, the first time the mosquito-borne virus has been detected outside of the Amazon. Since January 2020, a major thrust of his work has been work related to COVID-19, including studying airborne transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Airborne Transmission

Zoonotic Diseases

West Nile Virus

Infectious Disease

Airborne Disease

Global Health

Avian Influenza




Media Appearances (5)

CDC says surface contact is low cause of COVID-19 spread, updates guidance

WINK News  online


“We were wiping packages we were getting from Amazon, leaving them in the corner for one week so the virus would die,” said Professor John Lednicky, an aerovirologist at UF. “Any of that really help anything? No.”

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Coronavirus hit Florida earlier than we thought — on a door handle at UF

Tampa Bay Times  online


For 19 days, professor John Lednicky and his laboratory took swab samples from a door handle at a busy campus building, and on four of those days they found a strain of influenza. But one day’s samples — from Feb. 21, 2020 — yielded something more notable: The researchers found the same strain of COVID-19 that had been circulating in Washington state at that time.

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An interest in bat viruses led to UF Health virologist’s development of coronavirus test

UF Health Newsroom  online


University of Florida Health virologist John Lednicky was in the seventh grade, living in the Philippines where his father worked, when he enjoyed a meal of a delicious bat stew. Fruit bat was a local delicacy.

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Coronavirus Myth-busting; local expert weighs in on COVID-19

WCJB  online


"This is a very profound question and I will explain why they are both correct the CDC information is based on available information and when they calculate the mortality number what they are looking at is the number of deaths over the number of people who have been laboratory confirmed to have the virus," John Lednicky of the Emerging Pathogens Institute said. "So, that fatality rate is probably way too high."

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Coronavirus Consultant

University of Florida  online


UF research professor John Lednicky can pull live viruses out of thin air—and grow them. His past decades of inquiry into coronaviruses have positioned him as one of UF’s go-to experts on the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 pathogen that is spreading globally.

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Articles (5)

Integration of sample preparation with RNA-Amplification in a hand-held device for airborne virus detection

Analytica Chimica Acta

Xiao Jiang, et al.


Aerosol transmission is one of the three major transmission routes of respiratory viruses. However, the dynamics and significance of the aerosol transmission route are not well understood, partially due to the lack of rapid and efficient tools for on-the-spot detection of airborne viruses. We report a hand-held device that integrates a 3D-printed sample preparation unit with a laminated paper-based RNA amplification unit.

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Orthobunyaviruses in the Caribbean: Melao and Oropouche virus infections in school children in Haiti in 2014

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Maha A. Elbardry, et al.


We report the identification of two orthobunyaviruses, Melao virus (MELV) and Oropouche virus (OROV), in plasma specimens from Haitian children with acute febrile illness who presented during outbreaks caused by alpha- and flaviviruses in 2014. Heretofore not described as a human pathogen, MELV was isolated in cell culture from the plasma of five case patients.

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Performance of SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test compared with real-time RT-PCR in asymptomatic individuals

International Journal of Infectious Diseases

Monica Pena, et al.


Screening, testing and contact tracing plays a pivotal role in control of the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable this it is necessary to increase the testing capacity. This study compared a SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test (RAT) and RT-PCR in 842 asymptomatic individuals from Tarapacá, Chile. A sensitivity of 69.86%, specificity of 99.61%, PPV of 94.44% and NPP of 97.22% with Ct values (Ct > 27) that were significantly higher among individuals with false-negative RAT were reported.

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Organochlorine Pesticide Dieldrin Suppresses Cellular Interferon-related Antiviral Gene Expression

Toxicological Sciences

Max Russo, et al.


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are persistent pollutants linked to diverse adverse health outcomes. Environmental exposure to OCPs has been suggested to negatively impact the immune system but their effects on cellular antiviral responses remain unknown.

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Genome Sequence of a Yunnan Orbivirus Isolated from a Dead Florida White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Microbiology Resource Announcements

Pedro H.O. Viadanna, et al.


We report the complete coding sequences of a Yunnan orbivirus isolated from a dead white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Florida in 2019. The prevalence of Yunnan orbivirus and its role in disease among farmed white-tailed deer remain to be determined.

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An interest in bat viruses led to UF Health virologist’s development of coronavirus test UF researcher created test that’s being used to find hidden COVID-19 patients