Deborah C. Jaworski

Kelli AlmesDepartment of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathology

B.S. Agriculture, Entomology/Ag Industries 1980, The Ohio State University
M.S. Entomology 1982, Oklahoma State University
Ph.D. Entomology 1991, The Ohio State University
Phone: 785-532-3887


I have developed animal models (ranging from field mice to cattle) for tick feeding and in support of understanding pathogenesis for more than 30 years. I am an expert in tick biology, tick rearing, tick dissection, and the physiological and molecular basis of tick feeding. I developed a white-tailed deer model for the purpose of studying the role of Lone star tick feeding in the transmission of Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections. My subsequent collaboration with Dr. Roman Ganta pushed this model forward to a point where it was utilized to answer significant questions concerning the molecular mechanisms that control E. chaffeensis infections in its natural reservoir host. I have been involved with Dr. Ganta in initiating and continuing infection studies in dogs. I joined Dr. Ganta’s research team at Kansas State University as a faculty member to further synergize and expand our highly productive collaborations in this important research area.

We have actively utilized the dog infection model for determining the molecular basis of how E. chaffeensis is acquired and transmitted by ticks, since the dog is identified as an accidental host similar to humans. Pursuing animal models for tick-borne infections have kept us on the forefront of scientific discovery for Ehrlichial diseases. In particular, we have utilized natural (deer) and incidental (dog) models to define and delineate how mutated and wildtype Ehrlichia chaffeensis impact these vertebrate hosts. In addition, we have developed methods to bypass the pathogen acquisition phase decreasing the number of animals we need for any given infection-based study. We have also begun to characterize the molecular response of the tick to pathogen infection


Dr. Jaworski's Published Work