Bacteria; Epidemiology; Lyme Disease; Parasitology; Public Health; Ticks; Viruses; West Nile virus; Global Health; Ehrlichiosis; Borrelia burgdorferi; Infectious Disease Medicine
Public Health Interests
Lyme Disease; Tropical Diseases; West Nile Virus
Molecular Virology: Virology laboratories
Skin Diseases Research Center, Yale
My laboratory investigates vector-borne diseases. Studies are directed toward understanding Lyme disease, Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, and West Nile virus. Efforts on Lyme disease include exploring immunity to Borrelia burgdorferi, selective B. burgdorferi gene expression in vivo, and the immunobiology of Lyme arthritis. Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by a newly described pathogen, transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks, that persists within neutrophils.
We are investigating the molecular strategies that this pathogen uses to survive in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. West Nile virus can cause fatal encephalitis, and we seek to understand the pathogenesis of this emerging disease. Finally, we are also developing molecular approaches to prevent ticks from feeding on a mammalian host, thereby interfering with pathogen transmission.
Specialized Terms: Vector-borne diseases; Lyme disease; Human granulocytic ehrilichiosis; West Nile virus
- Silver, A.C., A. Arjona, W.E. Walker, and E. Fikrig. 2012. The circadian clock controls toll-like receptor 9-mediated innate and adaptive immunity. Immunity 36:251-261. 3315694
- Schuijt, T.J., J. Coumou, S. Narasimhan, J. Dai, K. Deponte, D. Wouters, M. Brouwer, A. Oei, J.J. Roelofs, A.P. van Dam, T. van der Poll, C. Van't Veer, J.W. Hovius, and E. Fikrig. 2011. A tick mannose-binding lectin inhibitor interferes with the vertebrate complement cascade to enhance transmission of the lyme disease agent. Cell Host Microbe 10:136-146. 3170916
- Cheng, G., J. Cox, P. Wang, M.N. Krishnan, J. Dai, F. Qian, J.F. Anderson, and E. Fikrig. 2010. A C-type lectin collaborates with a CD45 phosphatase homolog to facilitate West Nile virus infection of mosquitoes. Cell 142:714-725. 2954371
- Wang, P., A. Arjona, Y. Zhang, H. Sultana, J. Dai, L. Yang, P.M. LeBlanc, K. Doiron, M. Saleh, and E. Fikrig. 2010. Caspase-12 controls West Nile virus infection via the viral RNA receptor RIG-I. Nat Immunol 11:912-919.
- Krishnan M, Ng A, Sukumaran B, Gilfoy F, Uchil P, Sultana H, Brass A, Adametz R, Tsui M, Qian F, Montgomery RR, Lev S, Mason P, Koski R, Elledge S, Xavier R, Agaisse H, Fikrig E. RNA interference screen for human genes associated with West Nile virus infection. Nature 455, 425-5, 2008.
- Dunne, D. W., A. C. Shaw, L. K. Bockenstedt, H. Allore, S. Chen, S. E. Malawista, L. Leng, Y. Mizue, M. Piecychna, L. Zhang, V. Towle, R. Bucala, R. R. Montgomery, and E. Fikrig. 2010. Increased TLR4 expression and Innate Cytokine Production in Immunosuppressed Adults with Autoimmune Diseases. PLoS ONE 5(6): e11343. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011343
- A tick gut protein with fibronectin III domains aids Borrelia burgdorferi congregation to the gut during transmission. Narasimhan S, Coumou J, Schuijt TJ, Boder E, Hovius JW, Fikrig E. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Aug 7;10(8):e1004278. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004278. eCollection 2014 Aug.