Shahid Karim


Teaching Interests

BSC410/L/510/L Human Parasitology

BSC412/L/BSC512/L Medical Entomology

BSC453/BSC553 Invertebrate Physiology

BSC478/L/BSC578/L Methods in Biotechnology

BSC491/L/591/L Introduction to Bioinformatics

BSC497 Senior Practicum


Research Interests

Arthropod vectors, including ticks, serve as a potential means of introducing, propagating, and spreading of viral, bacterial, and protozoan agents of disease. In the United States, reported vector-borne diseases are predominantly tick-borne; for example, there are approximately 329,000 cases of Lyme disease in the US annually. Various species of tick are able to transmit more than 20 emerging and resurgent agents, all capable of causing significant diseases in both humans and animals, including livestock, pets, and wildlife. A dynamic, multi-directional set of interactions between ticks, hosts, and transmitted pathogens occurs in both tick and host environment.  Our principal objective is to gain perspective on the tick-pathogen-host interaction by examining the part played by the salivary ‘potion’ in maintaining the secure attachment and providing a suitable environment for tick-borne pathogens. The current goal of my ongoing research is to elucidate the molecular mechanism of tick salivary proteins in prolonged feeding on the host and vector competence using a combination of molecular, biochemical, physiological, and reverse genetic approaches. Better understanding of tick-pathogen-host interaction will aid in the development of control strategies for tick-transmitted diseases.

Current Students

Gary Crispell

Nicolas Rinderer

Faizan Tahir

Latoyia Downs


Representative Publications

  1. Budachetri K, Crispell G, Karim S. (2017). Amblyomma maculatum SECIS Binding Protein 2 and putative Selenoprotein P are indispensable for pathogen replication and tick fecundity. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 88: 37-47.
  2. Karim S, Budachetri K, Mukherjee N, Williams J, Kausar A, Hassan JM, Adamson SW, et al., (2017). A study of ticks and tick-borne livestock pathogens in Pakistan. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases June 26; 11(6): e0005681.
  3. Budachetri K, Kumar D, Karim S. (2017). Catalase is a determinant of the colonization and transovarial transmission of Rickettsia parkeri in the Gulf Coast tick Amblyomma maculatum. Insect Molecular Biology 26:414-419.
  4. Budachetri K, Williams J, Mukherjee N, Sellers M, Moore F, Karim S. (2017). The microbiome of neotropical ticks parasitizing on passerine migratory birds. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 8(1): 170-173
  5. Sands AF, Apanaskevich DA, Bazarusanga T, Harrison A, Kamani J, Karim S, Mediannikov O, Mohammed MK, Mumcuoglu KY, Ranakaruna RS, Santos-Silva MM, Mathee S, Horak IG, Mathee CA. (2017).  The effect of tectonics and large scale climatic changes on the evolutionary history of Hyalomma ticks. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 114:153-165.
  6. Crispell G, Budachetri K, Karim S. (2016). Rickettsia parkeri colonization in Amblyomma maculatum: the role of superoxide dismutases. Parasite & Vectors. 9(1):291.
  7. Budachetri K, Gaillard D, Williams J, Mukherjee N, Karim S. (2016). A snapshot of the microbiome of Amblyomma tuberculatum ticks infesting the Gopher tortoise, an endangered species. Tick and Tick-Borne Diseases 7:1225-1229.
  8. Kumar D, Budachetri K, Meyers VC, Karim S. (2016). Assessment of the tick antioxidant response to exogenous oxidative stressors and insight into the role of catalase in the reproductive fitness of the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum). Insect Molecular Biology, 25(3): 283-294.
  9. Bullard R, Allen P, Chao CC, Das P, Douglas J, Morgan SE, Ching WM, Karim S. (2016). Structural Characterization of Tick Cement Cones collected from in vivo and artificial membrane blood-fed Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum). Tick and Tick-Borne Diseases 7(5):880-892.
  10. Bullard R, Williams J, Karim S. (2016). Temporal gene expression analysis and RNA silencing of single and multiple members of gene family in the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). PLoS ONE 11(2): e0147966.
  11. Chmelar J, Kotal J, Karim S, Kopacek P, Francischetti IMB, Pedra JHF, Kotsyfakis M. (2016). Sialomes and mialomes: a systems biology view of tick interactions. Trends in Parasitology 32(3):242-254.
  12. Karim S, Ribeiro JM. (2015). An insight into the sialome of the Lone Star tick, Amblyomma americanum, with a glimpse on its time dependent gene expression. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131292.
  13. Budachetri K, Karim S. (2015). An insight into the functional role of thioredoxin reductase, a selenoprotein, in maintaining normal native microbiota in the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum). Insect Molecular Biology 24(5):570-581.


Complete list of publications: