Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Announcement: CDC Pioneer, Arbovirologist and Entomologist, Dr. Wm. Daniel Sudia Dies
William Daniel Sudia, 1922-2010
Born in Ambridge, Pennsylvania on 19 Aug 1922, resided in Decatur,
Georgia, USA, departed this life on 25 Dec 2010.
Dr Sudia obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, and his Masters and PhD in Entomology from the Ohio State
University. Prior to joining CDC, he worked in Malaria and Mosquito Control in the War Arenas for the US Army at Camp McCain, Mississippi.
A career officer in the US Public Health Service, Dr Sudia first joined the fledgling Center for Disease Control in 1951 as a medical
entomologist in the Virus-Vector Unit in Montgomery, Alabama. Hetransferred to Atlanta when the Center built its first coordinated
campus on Clifton Road in 1960.
It was in the late 50s that Dr Sudia worked with Dr Roy Chamberlain to design an innovative new light trap to capture mosquitoes for viral
studies. With this lightweight portable trap, Dr Sudia and his colleagues were able to increase the number and variety of mosquito
catches in the field. This achievement subsequently enabled Dr. Sudia and his colleagues to study 5 different encephalitis viruses --
eastern, western, St. Louis, California, Venezuelan -- as well as many other viruses, including Mahogany Hammock, Gumbo Limbo, and Shark
River viruses, which were new to science at the time. During the 1960s, Dr Sudia conducted major ecological studies in the Everglades
of south Florida and in Georgia. This work led to the development of standard practices of investigation which were applied in later
significant encephalitis epidemics.
After being named chief of the Arbovirus Ecology Laboratory, Bureau of Laboratories, Dr Sudia investigated the Venezuelan equine encephalitis
(VEE) epidemic that reached as far as northern Mexico and south Texas in 1971. His work in the field, and later in the laboratory,
identified the mosquitoes which transmitted VEEV to animals and humans. It also showed that horses, not birds and rodents as some
previously thought, were the main hosts in the VEEV epidemic cycle. When he identified a new species of mosquito during this research, Dr
Sudia named it _Culex cedecei_ in honor of the Centers for Disease Control.
In addition to his research, Dr Sudia served as CDC consultant to field and laboratory studies being conducted by the Ministries of
Health in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico and Ecuador.
He also consulted on arboviral research with Public HealthLaboratories in California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin,
Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee,Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Maryland and
For his accomplishments, Dr Sudia received the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Superior Achievement Award in 1972, and the
USPHS Commendation Medal in 1978.
He was also awarded the prestigious United States Public HealthService Medal for his work in "developing and applying standard
methods for large-scale investigations of arbovirus outbreaks in the US." In the presentation, the vital role his and Dr Chamberlain's
light trap played in these investigations was acknowledged.
Throughout his 37 year career, Dr Sudia wrote and co-wrote more than 80 scientific papers based on his ecological and laboratory studies,
as well as field and laboratory manuals on the study of arboviruses. In 1988, the journal Mosquito News (now named The Journal of the
American Mosquito Control Association) named his and Dr Chamberlain's paper on their light trap a Classic Paper for being the 2nd most cited
entomological paper in the history of the publication.
Dr Tom Monath, a subsequent chief, Arbovirology Unit, Bureau of Laboratories, CDC, Atlanta, and director, Division of Vector-borne
Infectious Diseases, CDC, Ft Collins Colorado, asserts Sudia "is widely recognized by all arbovirologists as one of the great
entomologists whose work laid the foundations for many of the principles of the discipline of arbovirus transmission. He also had a
wonderful sense of humor and equanimity. I can never remember him getting truly upset even when things were difficult, and he always saw
the positive and funny side of a problem. He had a remarkable fund of knowledge that I drew on as a young scientist getting into the field.
He will be greatly missed." [Thomas P. Monath, MD, is a member of the One Health Initiative website team]
Dr Sudia retired from CDC as scientist director in 1984. In retirement, he was as accomplished in his avocations as he was in his
vocation. He designed and built furniture, crafted stained glass windows and amassed one of the largest collections of barbed wire east
of the Mississippi. He is best known, however, for his intimate photographs of birds.
Dr Sudia was preceded in death by his beloved wife Margueritte Elizabeth (Polly) Delony. He is survived by his daughters, a grandson,
brother Dr Theodore Sudia and sister Dorothy Sudia Evancho and many nieces and nephews.
[Dan will be fondly remembered by friends and appreciated by colleagues each time they place CDC light traps in the field, use
chill tables to sort arthropods captured in them and work with the viruses that he discovered. - Mod.TY/JW]
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 28 Dec 2010
Source: AS Turner & Sons, Decatur, Georgia, USA, with permission from
the family [edited]