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

Research Departments & Organizations

Internal Medicine: Infectious Diseases | Liver Center | Rheumatic Diseases Research Core

Microbial Pathogenesis

School of Public Health: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

Human and Translational Immunology Program

Molecular Virology: Virology Laboratories

Global Health Studies

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Bacteria; Borrelia burgdorferi; Ehrlichiosis; Epidemiology; Global Health; Infectious Disease Medicine; Lyme Disease; Parasitology; Public Health; Ticks; Viruses; West Nile virus

Research Summary

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

Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
HIV/AIDS Mechanisms of HIV latency


  • West-Nile Virus Protein Canada (2010)

    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...

  • 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.

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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