Susan Paskewitz

Prof. Susan Paskewitz

Susan Paskewitz

Professor and Department Chair

739 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

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Ph.D.  University of Georgia – Athens, 1987 (Entomology)
MA Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 1982 (Zoology)
BS Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 1979 (Zoology)

My research centers on management of arthropods involved in disease transmission, with a focus on mosquitoes and ticks.  A key question is the basis for compatibility versus incompatibility between various mosquito species and malaria parasite strains or species.  Compatibility can be mediated by the immune response of the host mosquito as well as evasion mechanisms of the parasite.  Our major contributions to this field include 1) identification of the role of important enzymes involved in regulating the melanization response through gene silencing studies, 2) a model Sephadex bead system for investigation of immune responses that is now widely used for molecular and ecological studies, and 3) discovery of a mosquito protein that binds to parasites and facilitates their development in this host.  Ongoing NIH-funded work focuses on the mosquito lysozyme gene family and the relationship of these proteins to adult and larval biology as well as their interaction with parasites.

To address the outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) in the US and to gain expertise in methods of mosquito control, another line of research was initiated in 2005 on Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) of local pests.  This Hatch-supported research focused on identification of major human biting species in southern Wisconsin and diagnosis of WNV in pooled samples from these collections. In addition, we 1) characterized aquatic sites that produce WNV vectors in Madison and identified superproducing sites (with Dr. Christine Arcari, Pop. Health, and John Hausbeck, Dane County Public Health), 2) investigated the co-occurrence of avian Plasmodium and WNV in Culex spp., (with Dr. Erik Hofmeister, USGS), and 3) successfully piloted the use of native fish species for control of the larval stages of Culex restuans/pipiens, work that has now been funded for an additional 4 year period as part of a multistate Hatch project.  Continuing projects will focus on development of local species of predatory microcrustaceans for biological control, on examining the impacts of WNV and nuisance mosquitoes on human behavior and quality of life (with RWJ Fellow Katie Dickinson), and on monitoring the effects of a newly introduced species (Aedes japonicus japonicus) on transmission of La Crosse virus and WNV (with local public health departments and the State Division of Health). Undergraduates were involved in mosquito research with projects that centered on tests of mosquito control methods that are marketed or promoted to our citizens, including CO2-generating backyard traps and ingestion of Vitamin B1 (with Prof. Tony Ives, Zoology) or bananas.

Tick-borne disease remains an important issue for Wisconsin with the incidence of Lyme disease increasing dramatically since 2002.  Over the past 10 years, projects focused on identification of risk levels in high-use urban forests and on identifying determinants of tick distribution in the state.  Currently, in collaboration with the State Division of Health, we are investigating the expansion of the range of Ixodes scapularis in eastern Wisconsin.  In collaboration with CDC and Prof. Ken Raffa’s group, we are also examining the ecology and effects of changes in forest structure on the dynamics of tick populations and Lyme disease infection rates.

Basic and Applied.

CALS 155: Interdisciplinary seminar for freshman (1 Cr)
Entom 371 Medical Entomology (3 Cr) spring semester alternate years
Entom 351 Medical/veterinary entomology module
Entom 375 Introduction to Global Health (3 Cr) spring semester

Vilas Associate Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison      2006-08
Pound Research Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison   1998

Professional Societies:

American Mosquito Control Association
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Entomological Society of America
Society for Invertebrate Pathology


Ross B, Chou S., Hayes B., Lee X., Paskewitz S., Josek T., Neitzel D., Bjork J., Mougous J. Ixodes scapularis does not harbor a stable midgut microbiome.  ISME Journal.  2018.

Larson S., Lee X., and Paskewitz S.  Prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in two species of Peromyscus mice common in northern Wisconsin.  Journal of Medical Entomology. 2018.

Pritt B., Allerdice M., Sloan L., Paddock C., Munderloh U., Rikihisa Y., Tajima T., Paskewitz S., Neitzel D., Johnson D., Schiffman E., Davis J., Goldsmith C., Nelson C., Karpathy S.   Proposal to reclassify Ehrlichia muris subsp muris subsp nov. and description of Ehrlichia muris subsp. eauclairensis subsp. nov., a newly recognized tick-borne pathogen of humans.  International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.  67: 2121-2126. 2017. DOI 10.1099/ijsem.0.001896.

Murphy, D., Lee X., Larson S., Hoang-Johnson D., Loo T. and Paskewitz S.  Prevalence and distribution of human and tick infection with Ehrlichia muris-like agent (EMLA) and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Wisconsin, 2009-2015. Vector-borne and Zoonotic diseases.  17:229-236. 2017. doi:10.1089/vbz.2016.2055.

Christenson M., Lee X., Larson S., Hoang Johnson D., Jensen J., Meller M. and Paskewitz S.  Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) and Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections in Wisconsin.  Journal of Medical Entomology. 54:752-756. 2017.  doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw218

Pritt B., Respicio Kingry L., Sloan L., Schriefer M., Replogle A., Bjork J., Kingry L., Neitzel D., Schiffman E., Johnson D., Davis J., Paskewitz S., Boxrud D., Deedon A., Lee X., Miller T., Feist M., Steward C. Theel E., Patel R., Irish C., Petersen J. Borrelia mayonii sp. nov., a member of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) complex, detected in patients and ticks in the upper midwestern United States.  International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 66: 4878-4880.  2016. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001445

Pritt Bobbi, Hoang Johnson, DK, Neitzel, DF, Mead, PS, Davis, JP, Schiffman E., Sloan LM. Schriefer, ME, Paskewitz SM, Ray J., Bjork J., Steward CR., Deedon A., Lee X., Miller TK, Feist MA, Respicio-Kingry LB., Replogle AB., Theel EW., Patel R., Petersen JM.   Identification of a Novel Borrelia species as a Cause of Lyme Disease in the Upper Midwestern United States.  Lancet Infectious Disease. 16:556-564. 2016. PMID: 26856777

Larson, S and Paskewitz S.M.  Teratological Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from Wisconsin.  Journal of Medical Entomology. 53:477-479. 2016. PMID: 26681790

Hutcheson H. J., Mertins J.W., Larson S.R. and Paskewitz S.M.  Acarine hypopi (Sarcoptiformes: Acaridae) on Ixodes scapularis (Ixodida: Ixodidae) in Central North America.  Journal of Medical Entomology.  52:1-5. 2015. PMID: 26336225

Castillo C.G., Eremeeva M., Paskewitz S.M., Sloan L. Lee X., Irwin W., Tonsberg S., and Pritt B.  Detection of human pathogenic Ehrlichia species Wisconsin in Peromycus leucopus: implication of a potential natural reservoir.  Ticks and tick-borne disease. 6(2):155-7. 2015. PMID:25481346

 Lee X., Coyle D.R., Hoang Johnson D., Murphy M.W., McGeehin M.A.,  Murphy R.J., Raffa K., and Paskewitz S.M.  Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs collected in managed red pine forests in Wisconsin. Journal of Medical Entomology.  51:694-701. 2014. PMID: 24897864

Coyle D.R, Murphy M.W., Lee X., McGeehin M.A., Murphy R.J., Paskewitz S.M., and Raffa K.F.  Belowground herbivory initiates a trophic cascade that increases abundance of Lyme disease vectors.  Forest Ecology and Management. 302: 354-362.  2013.

Lee X, Hardy Kristin, Hoang Johnson Diep, and Susan M. Paskewitz. Hunter-Killed Deer Surveillance to Assess Changes in the Prevalence and Distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Wisconsin.  Journal of Medical Entomology, 50(3):632-639. 2013. PMID


Dickinson K. and Paskewitz S.M. Willingness to pay for mosquito avoidance in Madison Wisconsin.  Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.  12(10):886-892.    PMCID 22651384.

Patchara Sriwichai, Yupha  Rongsriyam, Narissara  Jariyapan, Jetsumon  Sattabongkot, Chamnarn Apiwathnasorn, Duangporn Nacapunchai, Susan    Cloning of a trypsin-like serine protease and expression patterns during Plasmodium falciparum invasion in the mosquito, Anopheles dirus (Peyton and Harrison).  Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology.  80:151-155. 2012.  PMCID 22627911

Lapcharoen P., Komalamisra N., Rongsriyam Y., Wangsuphachart V., Dekumyoy P., Prachumsri J., Kajla M., and Paskewitz S.  Characterization and analysis of functional roles for a lysozyme from the malaria vector Anopheles dirus.  Developmental and Comparative Immunology. 36:104-111. 2012.  PMCID 21741400.

Pritt B.S., Sloan L.M., Hoang Johnson D.K., Munderloh U.G., Paskewitz S.M., McElroy K., McFadden J., Binnicker M.,  Neitzel D., Liu G., Nicholson W., Nelson C.,  Franson J., Martin S.,  Cunningham S., Steward C.,  Bogumill K., Bjorgaard M., Davis J., McQuiston J.,  Warshauer D.,  Wilhelm M., Patel R., Trivedi V., and Eremeeva M..   Emergence of a new pathogenic Ehrlichia species, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  New England Journal of Medicine.  365:422-429. 2011.  PMCID 21812671

Kajla, M.K., Shi L., Li B., Luckhart S., Li J., Paskewitz S.M. A new role for an old antimicrobial: Lysozyme c-1 can function to protect malaria parasites in Anopheles mosquitoes.  PloS One.  5(5). 2011. PMCID 21573077.

Kajla M.K., Andreeva O., Gilbreath T.M. and Paskewitz S.M. Characterization of expression, activity and role in antibacterial immunity of Anopheles gambiae lysozyme c-1.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B.  155:201-209. 2010.  PMCID 19932188

Hughes T., Irwin P., Hofmeister E., and Paskewitz S.M. Occurrence of avian Plasmodium and West Nile virus in Culex in Wisconsin.  Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 26:24-31. 2010.  PMCID 20402347

Irwin P. and Paskewitz S.M. Investigation of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) as a biological control agent of Culex mosquitoes under laboratory and field conditions.  Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 25:301-309. 2009. PMID: 19852220

Hughes T.H., Irwin P.M., Kaufman A., Sage H., Pagac B. and Paskewitz S.M. First records of Aedes japonicus japonicus in Wisconsin.  Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association.  24:583-584. 2008. PMID:  19181068

Irwin P., Arcari C., Hausbeck J., and Paskewitz S.M. The urban wet landscape as mosquito habitat in the upper Midwest.   5:49-57. 2008.

Paskewitz S.M., and Andreev O. Silencing the genes for dopa decarboxylase or dopachrome conversion enzyme reduces melanization of foreign targets in Anopheles gambiae.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  150:403-408. 2008. PMCID 18534885

Paskewitz S.M., Li B., and Kajla M. Cloning and molecular characterization of two invertebrate type lysozymes from Anopheles gambiae. Insect Molecular Biology.  17:217-225.    PMCID 18397277Sriwichai P., Rongsriyam Y., Jariyapan N., Apiwathnasorn C., Sattabongkot J., and Paskewitz S. Cloning of three serine protease genes from the South East Asian malaria vector, Anopheles dirus, and their expression in relation to blood feeding and parasite infection. Developmental and Comparative Immunology.  32:1011-1014. 2008.  PMCID 18395797

Waterhouse R.M., Xi Z., Kriventseva E., Meister S., Alvarez K.S., Bartholomay L.C., Barillas-Mury C., Bian G., Blandin S., Christensen B.M., Dong Y., Jiang H., Kanost M., Koutsos A.C., Levashina E.A., Li J., Ligoxygakis P., MacCallum R., Mayhew G.F., Mendes A., Michel K., Osta M., Paskewitz S., Shin S.W., Vlachou D., Wang L., Wei W., Zheng L., Zou Z., Severson D.W., Raikhel A.S., Kafatos F.C., Dimopoulos G., Zdobnov E., and Christophides G.K. Evolutionary dynamics of immune-related genes and pathways in disease vector mosquitoes.   Science 316: 1738-1743. 2007.  PMCID 17588928

Dasgupta R., Zietlow S., Paskewitz S.M., Aksoy S., Shi L., and Christensen, B.M. Multiplication of Flock House virus in a wide range of medically important insects. Journal of Medical Entomology.  44:102-120. 2007. PMCID 17294927

Li B. and Paskewitz S.M. A role for lysozyme in melanization of Sephadex beads in Anopheles gambiae. Journal of Insect Physiology.  52: 936-942. 2006.  PMCID 16876189

Paskewitz S., Andreev O. and Shi L. Gene silencing of serine proteases affects melanization of Sephadex beads in Anopheles gambiae.  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  36: 701-711. 2006. PMCID 16935219

Shi L., Li B., and Paskewitz S.M. Cloning and characterization of a putative phenoloxidase inhibitor (POI) from Anopheles gambiae. Insect Molecular Biology. 15:313-320.   PMCID 16756550

Li B., Huang Y., and Paskewitz S.M. Hen egg white lysozyme as an inhibitor of mushroom tyrosinase.  FEBS Letters 250:1877-1882. 2006. PMCID 16516893

Cardoz, Yasmin, Paskewitz, Susan and Raffa, Ken.  Travelling through time and space on wings of beetles: a tripartite insect-fungi-nematode association.  Symbiosis. 41: 71-80.  2006.

Shi L. and Paskewitz S.M.  Proteomics and insect immunity.  Invertebrate Survival Journal 3:4-17. 2006.

Li Bin, Calvo, E., Marinotti O., James A.A. and Paskewitz S.M.  Characterization of the c-type lysozyme gene family in Anopheles gambiae. Gene. 360:131-139. 2005.

Ives, A. R. and Paskewitz S.M.  Testing “Vitamin B” as a Home Remedy against Mosquitoes.  Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 21:213-217. 2005.


Program Info

Please visit the Paskewitz laboratory website for information about our research program:

Please visit the MCEVBD website for information about the CDC Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease: