The RBL offers expertise in all facets of vector biology. In particular, the Telford laboratory here can maintain the life cycles of most arthropod vectors as well as those of diverse arboviruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminths of medical importance. Natural transmission models with infected arthropod challenge are critical to the understanding of the initial events of infection and pathogenesis, as the bite site is immunomodulated by vector saliva. Scientists here have longstanding experience with deer tick-transmitted infections (Lyme disease, BMD, babesiosis, human anaplasmosis, deer tick virus) as well as Lone Star tick (Masters disease/STARI, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis) and dog tick-transmitted infections (spotted fever, tularemia). In addition, mosquito challenges can be conducted with WNV, EEE, and California group arboviruses; or with Plasmodia spp. or filariid nematodes. Transmission models of Leishmania spp. by sandflies or Trypanosoma cruzi by reduviid bugs may also be easily developed.