Apperson, Charles

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Program area: 

Public Health Entomology and Vector Biology

112E Dearstyne Entomology Building, 3230 Ligon Street
Box 7647, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695-7647


B.A. Humboldt State College, Arcata, California
M.S. University of California, Riverside
Ph.D. University of California, Riverside



  • Vector biology: basic and applied research on the ecology, behavior and/or control of arthropods of public health importance, such as mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Biology and ecology of the container-inhabiting mosquitoes Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti,and Ochlerotatus triseriatus.
  • Arthropod-host interactions: blood feeding habits and pathogen transmission.
  • Environmental and behavioral factors affecting mosquito oviposition: chemical ecology of mosquito oviposition attractants and stimulants.
  • Microbial ecology of mosquito habitats, focusing on the oviposition response of gravid Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to the species structure of bacterial communities.
  • Ecoepidemiology of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as La Crosse encephalitis.
  • Ecoepidemiology of tick-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease.



  1. Travanty, N.V., L. Ponnusamy, M.L. Kakumanu, and C.S. Apperson.  2019. Diversity and structure of the bacterial microbiome of the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is dominated by the endosymbiont Francisella.  Microbial Ecology.  In review.
  2. Shymanovich, T., L. Faw, N. Hajhashem, J. Teague, C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, C.S. Apperson, E. Hatano, and G. Wasserberg.  2019. Diel periodicity and visual cues guide oviposition behavior in Phlebotomus papatasi, vector of old-world cutaneous leishmaniasis.  PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 12:Accepted for publication.
  3. Travanty, N.V., C.S. Apperson, and L. Ponnusamy.  2019. A diverse microbial community supports larval development and survivorship of the Asian tiger mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae).  Journal of Medical Entomology.  56:Accepted for publication.
  4. Ponnusamy, L., A.C. Willcox, R.M. Roe, S.A. Davidson, P. Linsuwanon, A.L. Schuster, A.L. Richards, S.R. Meshnick, and C.S. Apperson.  2018.  Bacterial microbiome of the chigger Leptotrombidium imphalum varies by life stage and infection with the scrub typhus pathogen Orientia tsutsugamushi.  PLoS ONE 13(12):e0208327.
  5. Kakumanu, M.L., L. Ponnusamy, H. Sutton, S.R. Meshnick, W.L. Nicholson, and C.S. Apperson.  2018.  Prevalence of Rickettsia species (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) in Dermacentor variabilis ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in North Carolina.  Journal of Medical Entomology 55:1284-1291.
  6. Bowman, N.M., K. Akialis, G. Cave, R. Barrera, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2018.  Pyrethroid insecticides maintain repellent effect on knock-down resistant populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  PLoS ONE 13(5):e0196419.
  7. Zhu, J., A. Dhammi, J.B. van Kretschmar, E. Vargo, C.S. Apperson, and R.M. Roe.  2017.  Novel use of aliphatic n-methy ketones as a fumigant and an alternative to methyl bromide for insect control.  Pest Management Science  DOI 10.1002/ps.4749.   
  8. Levine, J.F., C.S. Apperson, M. Levin, T. Kelly, M.L. Kakumanu, L. Ponnusamy, H. Sutton, S. Salger, J. Caldwell, and A. Szempruch.  2017.  Stable transmission of Borrleia burgdorferi sensu stricto on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Zoonoses and Public Health  64:337-354.
  9. Richards, S.L., R. Langley, C.S. Apperson, and E. Watson.  2017.  Do tick attachment times vary between different tick-pathogen systems?  Environments 4:37.
  10. Paz-Soldan, V.A., J. Yukich, A. Soonthorndahada, M. Giron, C.S. Apperson, L. Ponnusamy, C. Schal, A.C. Morrison, J. Keating, and D.M. Wesson.  2016.  Design and testing of novel lethal ovitrap to reduce populations of Aedes mosquitoes:  Community-based participatory research between industry, academia and communities in Peru and Thailand.  PLoS ONE 11(8):e0160386.
  11. Choi, D, J.P. Grieco, C.S. Apperson, C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, D.M. Wesson, and N.L. Achee.  2016.  Effect of spatial repellent exposure on Aedes aegypti attraction to oviposition sites.  PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 10(7):e0004850. 
  12. Wallace, J.W., W.L. Nicholson, J. Perniciaro, M.F. Vaughn, S. Funkhouser, J.J. Juliano, S. Lee, M.L. Kakumanu, L. Ponnusamy, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2016.  Incident tick-borne infections in a cohort of North Carolina outdoor workers.  Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases  16:302-308.
  13. Kakumanu, M.L., L. Ponnusamy, H.T. Sutton, S.R. Meshnick, W.L. Nicholson, and C.S. Apperson.  2016.  Development and validation of an improved PCR method using 23S-5S intergenic spacer for detection of rickettsiae in Dermacentor variabilis ticks and tissue samples from humans and laboratory animals.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology  54:972-979.  
  14. Marayati, B.F., C. Schal, L. Ponnusamy, C.S. Apperson, T. Rowland, and G. Wasserberg.  2015.  Attraction and oviposition preferences of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), vector of Old-World cutaneous leishmaniasis, to larval-rearing media.  Parasites and Vectors  8:663. 
  15. Ponnusamy, L., C. Schal, C. Arellano, D.M. Wesson, and C.S. Apperson.  2015.  Oviposition responses of Aedes mosquitoes to bacterial isolates from attractive bamboo infusions.  Parasites and Vectors  8:486.
  16. Van Turen, W, L. Ponnusamy, R. Brinkerhoff, A. Gonzalez, C. Parobek, J. Juliano, T. Andreadis, R. Falco, L. Beati-Zeigler, N. Hathaway, C. Keeler, M. Emch, J. Bailey, R.M. Roe, C.S. Apperson, R. Knight, and S.R. Meshnick.  2015.   Variations in the microbiota of Ixodes ticks with geography, species and sex.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  81:6200-6209.
  17. Londono-Renteria, B., J. Patel, M. Vaughan, S. Funkhouser, L. Ponnusamy, C. Grippin, S.B. Jameson, C.S. Apperson, C.N. Mores, D.M. Wesson, T.M. Colpitts, S.R. Meshnick.  2015.  Long-lasting permethrin-impregnated clothing protects against mosquito bites in outdoor workers.  American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 92:869-874.
  18. Chitwood, M.C., M. Swingen, M. Lashley, J. Flowers, M. Palamar, C.S. Apperson, C. Olfenbuttel, C. Moorman, and C. DePerno. 2015. Parasitology and serology of free-ranging coyotes (Canis latrans) in North Carolina.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases 51:664-669.
  19. Lee, S., M. Kakumanu, L. Ponnusamy, M. Vaughn, S. Funkhouser, H. Thornton, S.R. Meshnick, and C.S. Apperson.  2014.  Prevalence of Rickettsiales in ticks removed from the skin of outdoor workers.  Parasites and Vectors  7:607.
  20. Vaughn, M.F., S.W. Funkhouser, F.-C. Lin, J. Fine, J.J. Juliano, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2014.  Long-lasting permethrin impregnated uniforms: A randomized-controlled trial for tick bite prevention.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine 46:473-480.
  21. Ponnusamy, L., A. Gonzalez, W. Van Treuren, S. Weiss, C. Parobek, J.J. Juliano, R. Knight, R.M. Roe, C.S. Apperson, and S.R. Meshnick.  2014.  Diversity of Rickettsiales in the microbiome of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology  80:354-359. 
  22. Stell, F.M., R.M. Roe, C. Arellano, and C.S. Apperson. 2013. Innovative sugar-insecticide feeding bioassay for adult female Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 50:804-815.
  23. Stell, F.M., R.M. Roe, C. Arellano, L. Kennedy, H. Thorton, K. Saavendr-Rodriguez, D.M. Wesson, W.C. Black, and C.S. Apperson. 2013. Proof of concept for a novel insecticide bioassay based on sugar feeding by adult Aedes aegypti (Stegomyia aegypti). Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 27:284-297.
  24. Apperson, C.S. and W.L. Nicholson (eds.). 2013. Proceedings of a regional workshop to assess research and outreach needs in integrated pest management to reduce the incidence of tick-borne diseases in the southern United States. Tom Harkins Global Communication Center, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. January 21-23, 2009. (available online at:
  25. Carr, A.L., R.M. Roe, C. Arellano, D.E. Sonenshine, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2013. Responses of Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis to odorants that attract haematophagous insects. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 27:86–95.
  26. Walsh, R.K., C. Bradley, C.S. Apperson, and F. Gould. 2012. An experimental field study of delayed density dependence in natural populations of Aedes albopictus. PLoS ONE 7(4):35959.
  27. Ponnusamy, L., K. Böröczky, D.M. Wesson, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2011. Bacteria stimulate hatching of yellow fever mosquito eggs. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24409.
  28. Nojima, S., D.J. Kiemle, F.X. Webster, C.S. Apperson, and C. Schal. 2011. Nanogram-scale preparation and NMR analysis for mass-limited small volatile compounds. PLoS ONE 6(3):e18178.
  29. Bissinger, B.W., C.S. Apperson, D. W. Watson, C. Arellano, D.E. Sonenshine and R. M. Roe. 2010. Novel field assays and comparative repellency of BioUD, DEET and permethrin against Amblyomma americanum. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 25:217–226.
  30. Kimps, NW., B. W. Bissinger, C.S. Apperson, D.E. Sonenshine, and R.M. Roe. 2010. First report of repellency of 2-tridecanone to ticks. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 25:202–208.
  31. Ponnusamy, L., N. Xu, K. Böröczky, D.M. Wesson, L. Abu Ayyash, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2010. Oviposition responses of the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to experimental plant infusions in laboratory bioassays. Journal of Chemical Ecology 36:709–719.
  32. Smith, M.P., L. Ponnusamy, J. Jiang, L. Abu Ayyash, A.L. Richards, and C.S. Apperson. 2010. Bacterial pathogens in ixodid ticks from a Piedmont county in North Carolina: Prevalence of rickettsial organisms. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 10:939–952.
  33. Ponnusamy, L., D.M. Wesson, C. Arellano, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2010. Species composition of bacterial communities influences attraction of mosquitoes to experimental plant infusions. Microbial Ecology 59:158–173.
  34. Ocampo, C.B., C. González, C.A. Morales, M. Perez, D.M. Wesson, and C.S. Apperson. 2009. Evaluation of community base strategies for Aedes aegypti control in houses in Cali, Colombia. Biomedica 29:282–297.
  35. Bissinger, B.E., C.S. Apperson, D.E. Sonenshine, D.W. Watson, and R.M. Roe. 2009. Efficacy of the new repellent BioUD® against three species of ixodid ticks. Experimental and Applied Acarology 48:239–250.
  36. Bissinger, B.W., J. Zhu, C.S. Apperson, D.E. Sonenshine, D.W. Watson, and R.M. Roe. 2009. Comparative efficacy of BioUD to other commercially available arthropod repellents against the ticks Amblyomma amercanum and Dermacentor variabilis on cotton cloth. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81:685–690.
  37. Apperson, C.S., B. Engber, W.L. Nicholson, D.G. Meade, J. Engel, K. Dail, J. Johnson, and D.W. Watson. 2008. Tick-borne diseases in North Carolina: Is “Rickettsia amblyommii” the cause of rickettsiosis identified as Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 8:597–606.
  38. Ponnusamy, L., N. Xu, D.M. Wesson, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2008. Identification of bacteria and bacteria-associated chemical cues that mediate oviposition site preferences by Aedes aegypti. PNAS 105:9262–9267.
  39. Ponnusamy, L., N. Xu, G. Stav, D.M. Wesson, C. Schal, and C.S. Apperson. 2008. Diversity of bacterial communities in the container habitats of mosquitoes. Microbial Ecology 56:593–603.
  40. Richards, S.L., S.K. Ghosh, B.C. Zeichner, and C.S. Apperson. 2008. Impact of source reduction on the spatial distribution of larvae and pupae of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in suburban neighborhoods of a piedmont community in North Carolina. Journal of Medical Entomology 45:617–628.
  41. Nojima, S., C.S. Apperson, and C. Schal. 2008. A simple, convenient, and efficient preparative GC system that uses a short megabore capillary column as a trap. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:418–428.
  42. Witting-Bissinger, B.E., C. F. Stumpf, K. Donohue, C.S. Apperson, and R.M. Roe. 2008. Novel arthropod repellent, BioUD, is an efficacious alternative to DEET. Journal of Medical Entomology 45:891–898.