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Louis A. Magnarelli

Portrait of Louis A. Magnarelli

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
P.O. Box 1106
New Haven, CT 06504-1106

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Dr. Louis A. Magnarelli, Director of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Thursday morning, July 11, 2013, at home after a courageous battle with illness. Lou’s career at the Station began nearly 4-decades ago and he was the Director of this institution for the last 9 years. Dr. Magnarelli was known internationally for his work on ticks, tick-associated diseases, serological testing for vector-borne pathogens, and many other scientific accomplishments, far too numerous to catalog here. His contributions to Connecticut and science were extensive and appreciated. Through the course of his career, he published over 218 scientific articles.

Dr. Magnarelli received his Ph.D. in medical entomology from Cornell University and came to the Experiment Station in 1975. He served as Chief Entomologist and State Entomologist from 1987-2004, Vice Director from 1992-2004, and was appointed the agency’s eighth Director in 2004.

However, Lou was not only our Director, he was our colleague and most of all, our friend. His door was always open, both literally and figuratively, for discussion of all matters from the scientific to the personal. His keen scientific and analytical mind was only exceeded by his desire to bring this institution’s scientific knowledge and experience to the benefit of the citizens of Connecticut. He was a strong supporter of Connecticut agriculture, the state’s trees and woodlands, and the green industry. Lou’s wisdom and skillful stewardship as our leader will be sorely missed. Even through his illness, his thoughts were always of the Experiment Station. All Station staff, both present and future, will take tremendous pride in honoring and continuing Dr. Magnarelli’s unwavering commitment for “Putting Science to Work for Society”.

Cards and flowers may be sent in the care of the Experiment Station to 123 Huntington Street, Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504. Memorial contributions may be made to the Middlesex Home Hospice Care, Inc., 770 Saybrook Road, Suite 2, Middletown, CT 06457.

Dr. Magnarelli’s research specialty is medical entomology.  His expertise covers mosquitoes, ticks, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, human and canine ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, tularemia, and serologic testing for antibodies to pathogens transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes.

B.S. in Biology, State University of New York at Oswego 1967
M.S. in Biology, University of Michigan 1968
Ph.D. in Medical Entomology, Cornell University 1975

Station career:
Assistant Scientist 1975-1978
Associate Scientist 1978-1981
Scientist 1981-1987
Chief Scientist/State Entomologist 1987-2004
Vice Director 1992-2004
Director 2004-2013

Past research:
The biology, blood-feeding habits, and reproductive life histories of mosquitoes and other blood-sucking arthropods.

Current research:
Human infections of tick-associated diseases have increased during the past 50 years along with rising populations of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Diagnoses of diseases, such as Lyme disease, can be difficult. To improve laboratory diagnosis of tick-associated diseases, highly specific reagents are being produced by collaborating scientists at Yale University and the University of Texas (Houston) and are being tested at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station to develop highly sensitive and specific assays for antibodies. Emphasis is also being placed on monitoring tick-borne infections and West Nile virus activity in domesticated animals and wildlife (deer, rabbits, and mice).

  • Magnarelli, L.A., S.J. Norris, and E. Fikrig. 2012. Serum antibodies to whole-cell and recombinant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi in cottontail rabbits. J. Wildlife Diseases. 48:12-20.
  • Magnarelli, L.A. 2011. The role of vertebrate hosts in tick-borne infections. Clinical Microbiology Newsletter. 33:17-20.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., S.C. Williams, and E. Fikrig. 2010. Seasonal prevalence of serum antibodies to whole-cell and recombinant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in white-tailed deer in Connecticut. J. Wildlife Diseases. 46:781-790.
  • Magnarelli, L.A. 2009. Global importance of ticks and associated infectious disease agents. Clinical Microbiology Newsletter. 31:33-37.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., S.L. Bushmich, J.F. Anderson, M. Ledizet, and R.A. Koski. 2008. Serum antibodies to West Nile virus in naturally exposed and vaccinated horses. J. Medical Microbiol. 57:1087-1093.
  • Anderson, J.F. and L.A. Magnarelli. 2008. Biology of ticks. Infect. Dis. Clinics North America. 22:195-215.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., S. Levy, and R. Koski. 2007. Detection of antibodies to Francisella tularensis in cats. Research in Veterinary Science. 82:22-26.
  • Magnarelli. L.A., K.C. Stafford III, J.W. IJdo, and E. Fikrig. 2006. Antibodies to whole-cell or recombinant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti in white-footed mice. J. Wildlife Diseases. 42:732-738.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., S.L. Bushmich, J.W. IJdo, and E. Fikrig. 2005. Seroprevalence of antibodies against Borrelia bugdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in cats. American J. Veterinary Research. 66:1895-1899.
  • Magnarelli, L.A. and E. Fikrig. 2005. Detection of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in naturally infected horses in the USA by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using whole-cell and recombinant antigens. Research in Vet. Science. 79:99-103.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., J.W. IJdo, U. Ramakrishnan, D.W. Henderson, K.C. Stafford, III, and E. Fikrig. 2004. Use of recombinant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to detect antibodies in white-tailed deer. J. Wildlife Diseases. 40:249-258.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., and T.G. Andreadis. 2004. An epizootic of nuclear polyhedrosis virus in armyworms Pseudaletia unipuncta in Connecticut. Northeast Naturalist. 11:75-80.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., S.L. Bushmich, B.A. Sherman, and E. Fikrig. 2004. A comparison of serologic tests for the detection of serum antibodies to whole-cell and recombinant Borrelia burgdorferi antigens in cattle. Canadian Vet. J. 45:667-673.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., M. Lawrenz, S. Norris, and E. Fikrig. 2002. Comparative reactivity of human sera to recombinant VlsE and other Borrelia burgdorferi antigens in class-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for Lyme borreliosis. J. Medical Microbiol. 51:649-655.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., J.W. IJdo, B.A. Sherman, S.L. Bushmich, S.A. Levy, and E. Fikrig. 2002. Antibodies to granulocytic ehrlichiae in cattle. J. Medical Microbiol. 51:326-331.
  • Magnarelli, L.A., J. IJdo, C.Wu, E. Fikrig. 2001. Recombinant protein-44 based class-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for serological diagnosis of Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis. Europ. J. Clin. Microbiol. & Infect. Dis. 20:482-485.