University of Minnesota
Go to the U of M home page

Ulrike Munderloh

Associate Professor

Office Address

506 Hodson Hall

Mailing Address

219 Hodson Hall
1980 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108 USA
Tel.: 612-624-5282 (office)
Fax: 612-625-5299
e-mail: munde001(at)




College: Ludwig-Maximilians-University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Munich, Germany. Degree earned: Tierarzt (equivalent to the DVM); December 23, 1975
University: Ludwig-Maximilians-University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Munich, Germany. Degree earned: Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (doctor medicinae veterinariae; equivalent to the Ph.D.), specializing in tropical veterinary medicine. Grade earned: magna cum laude. July 29, 1977

Research Interests

Research in the tick lab focuses on bacteria associated with ticks as tick-borne pathogens or as symbionts, in particular Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of human anaplasmosis, and diverse Rickettsia species. Our research with rickettsiae explores the relationship of symbiotic rickettsiae and ticks with respect to the natural history of rickettsial diseases. We are interested in the cellular and molecular determinants of the “host – vector – pathogen interface” in order to understand how tick-borne pathogens and symbionts respond to cues received through their tick vectors’ activities such as blood feeding. We primarily use cell culture-systems to study the biology of anaplasma and rickettsiae in vectors and hosts by examining gene expression, and by mutagenesis and plasmid transformation for live imaging and functional genomics analyses.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are closely allied to my research. Since 2010, I have taken over as course director for Medical Entomology (ENT 5275). I teach sections about tick-borne and insect-borne diseases such as Leishmaniasis and phlebotomine flies, the life stages of malaria parasites in mammals and mosquitoes, typhus-group rickettsioses and bartonelloses. I focus these topics on emerging diseases, and relate them to global changes in human land use and climate.


Books and Book Chapters

Munderloh, UG, Jauron, SD, and Kurtti, TJ. 2005. The Tick: A Different Kind of Host for Human Pathogens. In: Tickborne Diseases of Humans, eds.J. Goodman, D. Dennis and D. Sonenshine, ASM Press

Journal Articles

Robinson S, Neitzel D, Moen R, Craft M, Hamilton K, Johnson L, Mulla D, Munderloh UG, Redig P, Smith K, Turner C, Umber J, Pelican K. Submitted. Disease risk in a dynamic environment: the spread of tick-borne pathogens in Minnesota, USA. EcoHealth

Crosby FL, Wamsley HL, Pate MG, Lundgren AM, Noh SM, Munderloh UG, Barbet AF. 2014. Knockout of an outer membrane protein operon of Anaplasma marginale by transposon mutagenesis. BMC Genomics 5(1):278..

Oliver JD, Burkhardt NY, Felsheim RF, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2013. Motility characteristics are altered for Rickettsia bellii transformed to overexpress a heterologous rickA. AEM 80(3):1170-6.

Barbet AF, Al-Khedery B, Stuen S, Granquist EG, Felsheim RF, Munderloh UG. 2013. An Emerging Tick-borne Disease of Humans is Caused by a Subset of Strains with Conserved Genome Structure. Pathogens 2:544-555.

Cheng C, Nair ADS, Indukuri VV, S, Felsheim RF, Jaworski D, Munderloh UG, Ganta RR. 2013. Targeted and Random Mutagenesis of Ehrlichia chaffeensis for the Identification of Genes Required for In vivo Infection. PLoS Pathogens 9(2):e1003171.

Tate CM, Howerth EW, Yabsley MJ, Sahora AI, Dugn VG, Luttrell PM, Mead DG, Munderloh UG, Davidson WR 2012. Anaplasma odocoilei sp. nov. (Family Anaplasmataceae) from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases Dec 28

Al-Khedery B, Lundgren AM, Stuen S, Granquist EG, Munderloh UG, Nelson CM, Alleman AR, Mahan SM, Barbet AF. 2012. Structure of the type IV secretion system in different strains of Anaplasma phagocytophilum. BMC Genomics. 13(1):678. Chen G,

Severo MS, Sakhon OS, Choy A, MJ, Felsheim RF, Wiryawan H, Liao J, Johns JL, Munderloh UG, Sutterwala FS, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JHF. 2012. Anaplasma phagocytophilum LPDA1 Affects Host-Derived Immunopathology During Microbial Colonization. Infect Immun 80(9):3194-205.

Wood DO, Hines A, Tucker AM, Woodard A, Driskell LO, Burkhardt NY, Kurtti TJ, Baldridge GD, Munderloh UG. 2012. Establishment of a Replicating Plasmid in Rickettsia prowazekii. PLoSOne 7(4):e34715. Epub Apr 17.

Oliva Chávez AS, Felsheim RF, Kurtti TJ, Brayton KA, Ku P-S, Munderloh UG. 2012. Expression Patterns of Anaplasma marginale msp2 Variants Change in Response to Growth in Cattle, and Tick Cells versus Mammalian Cells. PloSOne. 7(4):e36012, Epub April 25, 2012.

Pritt, BS, LM Sloan, DK Hoang Johnson, UG Munderloh, et. al. 2011. Emergence of a new pathogenic Ehrlichia species, Wisconsin and Minnesota. N. Engl. J. Med. 365: 422.

Noh SM, Ueti MW, Palmer GH, Munderloh UG, Felsheim RF, Brayton KA. 2010. Stability and tick transmission phenotype of gfp-transformed Anaplasma marginale through a complete in vivo infection cycle. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Nov 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Baldridge GD, Burkhardt NY, Labruna MB, Pacheco RC, Paddock CD, Williamson PC, Billingsley PM, Felsheim RF, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2010. Low Copy Number Plasmids are Widely Dispersed in Rickettsia Species Associated with Blood-feeding Arthropods and may have Multiple Origins. Mar;76(6):1718-31

Baldridge GD, Burkhardt NY, Oliva AS, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2010. Rickettsial ompB Promoter Regulated Expression of GFPuv in Transformed Rickettsia montanensis. PLoS One Jan. 29

Felsheim RF, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2009. Genome sequence of the endosymbiont Rickettsia peacockii and comparison with virulent Rickettsia rickettsii: Identification of Virulence Factors. PLoS One 4(12): e8361.

Felsheim RF, Oliva Chávez AS, Palmer GH, Crosby L, Barbet AF, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2009. Transformation of Anaplasma marginale. Vet. Parasitol. Sept. 20. Epub ahead of print.

Billeter SA, V.P. Diniz PP, Battisti JM, Munderloh UG, Breitschwerdt EB, Levy MG. 2009. Infection and Replication of Bartonella Species Within A Tick Cell Line. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 49(3):193-208. Epub Feb. 26.

Baldridge GD, Scoles GA, Burkhardt NY, Schroeder B, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2009. Transovarial transmission of Francisella-like Endosymbionts and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Dermacentor albipictus (Acari:Ixodidae). J Med Ent 46:625-32.

Kurscheid S, Lew-Tabor AE, Rodriguez Valle M, Bruyeres AG, Doogan VJ, Munderloh UG, Guerrero FD, Barrero RA, Bellgard MI. 2009. Evidence of a tick RNAi pathway by comparative genomics and reverse genetics screen of targets with known loss-of-function phenotypes in Drosophila. BMC Molecular Biology 10:26.

Yabsley MJ, Murphy SM, Luttrell MP, Wilcox BR, Howerth EW, Munderloh UG. 2009. Characterization of ‘Candidatus Neoehrlichia lotoris’ (Family Anaplasmataceae) from raccoons (Procyon lotor). IJSEM 58: 2794 – 2798.

Munderloh UG, Silverman DJ, MacNamara KC, Ahlstrand GG, Chatterjee M, Winslow GM. 2009. Ixodes ovatus ehrlichia exhibits unique ultrastructural characteristics in mammalian endothelial and tick-derived cells. Annals NY Acad. Sci. 1166:112-9.

Kurtti, T.J., Mattila, J.A., Herron, M.J., Felsheim, R.F., Baldridge, G.D., Burkhardt, N.Y., Blazar, B.R., Hackett, P.B., Meyer, J.M., Munderloh, U.G., 2008, Transgene expression and silencing in a tick cell line: A model system for functional tick genomics. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 38:963-8.

Nelson CM, Herron MJ, Felsheim RF, Schloeder BR, Grindle SM, Oliva Chavez AS, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2008. Whole genome transcription profiling of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in human and tick host cells by tiling array analysis. BMC Genomics 9:364

Esteves E., Lara FA, Lorenzini DM, Costa GHN, Fukuzawa AH, Pressinotti LN, Silva JRMC, Ferro JA, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG, Daffre S. 2008. Cellular and molecular characterization of an embryonic cell line (BME26) from the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 38:568-80.

Baldridge GD, Burkhardt NY, Felsheim RF, Kurtti TJ, Munderloh UG. 2008. Plasmids of the pRM/pRF Family Occur in Diverse Rickettsia species. Appl Environ. Microbiol. 74:645-52; Feb;74(3):645-52

Mattila, JT, Munderloh, UG, Kurtti, TJ. 2007. Phagocytosis of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, by cells from the ticks, Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor andersoni, infected with an endosymbiont, Rickettsia peacockii. J. Insect Science 7:58.

Graduate Students Advised or co-Advised: