Blood-feeding arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks act as vectors, transmitting numerous viruses (arthropod-borne viruses = arboviruses), bacteria, protozoa and other pathogens to animals, including humans.
My interest is in the role of vector saliva in pathogen transmission. I am trying to unravel the complexity of tick saliva, which contains 100s of molecules that help the tick to feed, including anticoagulants and immunomodulators. The remarkable activities of these molecules are exploited by vector-borne pathogens, promoting their transmission. We also can exploit these molecules to develop vaccines and new therapeutic drugs.