Erol Fikrig MD

Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Section Chief, Infectious Diseases

Biographical Info

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.

International Activity

  • West-Nile Virus Protein
    Yale and McGill University scientists have identified a protein that is critical in fighting mosquito-borne West Nile Virus in mice. This finding could have therapeutic implications for controlling the potentially deadly virus in humans. The study appears in the Advance Online Publication of Nature Immunology.
  • Pathogenesis of Lyme Disease
    Netherlands; Netherlands(2007)
    The goal of this project is to determine how specific components of the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, and its arthropod vector, Ixodes ticks, contribute to the pathogenesis of Lyme disease in Europe.

Education & Training

Cornell University (1981)
Cornell University (1985)
Vanderbilt University Hospital, Internal Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Board Certification
Internal Medicine, Board Certified  (1988)

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