Durland Fish PhD

Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Forestry And Environmental Studies

Research Interests

Vector-borne diseases; ecology; evolution; epidemiology; prevention; climate change; borrelia; babesia; ticks; mosquitoes


Research Summary

Professor Fish’s area of research interest is the ecology of vector-borne pathogens. Recent emphasis has been on tick-borne pathogens causing Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis and babesiosis, and on mosquito-borne West Nile virus and dengue fever. Current projects include experimental manipulation of natural transmission cycles, vaccination of wildlife reservoirs against vectors and vector-borne pathogens, interactions among multiple pathogens in vectors and hosts, vector competence for viral and bacterial pathogens, and pathogen population genetics. Spatial analysis of pathogen prevalence using satellite imagery and geographic information systems forms the basis for applied studies in landscape epidemiology. His laboratory maintains colonies of ticks and mosquitoes for experimental studies, and a network of field sites is available for ecological studies. Prof. Fish is Director of the Yale Center for EcoEpidemiology, an interdisciplinary center that seeks to integrate environmental science and ecology with medical epidemiology. He is also on the Steering Committee of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute where he coordinates campus wide research on climate and human health.

Extensive Research Description

Professor Fish's research interests are in the areas of ecology and prevention of vector-borne infectious diseases. Recent emphasis has been on tick-borne pathogens causing Lyme disease and human ehrlichiosis in the northeastern U.S. Current projects include natural and artificial regulation of vector populations, vector competence for viral and bacterial pathogens, co-infection and transmissions of multiple pathogens, geographic and spatial analysis of epidemiological data, and the use of satellite imagery to predict vector-borne disease risk.


Selected Publications

  • Pepin KM, Eisen RJ, Mead PS, Piesman J, Fish D, Hoen AG, et al. (2012) Geographic Variation in the Relationship between Human Lyme Disease Incidence and Density of Infected Host-Seeking Ixodes scapularis Nymphs in the Eastern United States. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 86(6): 1062-71.
  • Tsao K, Fish D, Galvani AP (2012) Predicted Outcomes of Vaccinating Wildlife to Reduce Human Risk of Lyme Disease. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis.; Epub 2012/01/19. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0731.
  • Diuk-Wasser MA, Hoen AG, Cislo P, Brinkerhoff R, Hamer SA, Rowland M, et al. (2012) Human Risk of Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme Disease Agent, in Eastern United States. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 86(2): 320-7.
  • Margos G, Vollmer SA, Ogden NH, Fish D. Population genetics, taxonomy, phylogeny and evolution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Infect Genet Evol. 2011; 11(7):1545-63.
  • Diuk-Wasser, M A., Vourc’h, G, Cislo, P, Gatewood, AG, Melton, F, Hamer, SA, Rowland, M, Cortinas, R, Hickling, Tsao JI, Barbour, AG, Kitron, K, Piesman, J, Fish, D. 2010. Field and climate based model for predicting the density of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis in the United States. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 4: 504 - 514.
  • Gatewood Hoen, AG, Margos, G, Bent, SJ, Diuk-Wasser MA, Barbour, A, Kurtenbach, K, and Fish, D. 2009 Phylogeography of Borrelia burgdorferi in the eastern United States reflects multiple independent Lyme disease emergence events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106: 15013-15018.
  • Gatewood AG, Liebman KA, Vourc'h G, Bunikis J, Hamer SA, Cortinas R, Melton F, Cislo P, Kitron U, Tsao J, Barbour AG, Fish D, Diuk-Wasser MA. 2009. Climate and tick seasonality predict Borrelia burgdorferi genotype distribution. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 75:2476-2483.
  • Barbour, AG, Bunikis, J, Travinsky, B, Gatewood-Hoen, A Diuk-Wasser, MA, Fish, D Tsao, JI. 2009. Niche partitioning of Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia miyamotoi in the same tick vector and mammalian reservoir species. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81(6):1120-31.
  • Fish, D; Childs, JE 2009. Community-Based Prevention of Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases Through Topical Application of Acaricide to White-Tailed Deer: Background and Rationale Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 9: 357-364.
  • Margos, G , Gatewood A. G., Aanensen D. M., Hanincova, K., Terekhova, D., Vollmer, S.A., Cornet, M., Piesman, J., Donaghy, M., Bormane, A., Hurn, M.A., Feil, E.J., Fish, D., Casjens, S.,Wormser, G.A., Schwartz, I, and Kurtenbach, K. (2008) MLST of housekeeping genes captures geographic population structure and suggests a European origin of Borrelia burgdorferi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 105(25) p. 8370-8735.

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