Incidence of B. burgdorferi in tick populations of Upshur County, West Virginia
Keywords:Borrelia, Ixodes, monitoring,
Lyme disease is the most wide-spread vector-borne disease in the eastern United States. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, that is transmitted by a tick vector, most commonly Ixodes scapularus. In this study, 400 ticks were collected from around Upshur county, West Virginia, and tested by PCR for the presence of B. burgdorferi DNA. Tick specimen belong to Ixodes scapularus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, or are unidentified. One unidentified sample, which tested positive for B. burgdorferi, has been tentatively identified as the new invasive Haemaphysalis longicorni. This is the first report of the Asian Longhorned Tick carrying B. burgdorferi in West Virginia. In the future, this ongoing project will expand its sampling techniques, as well as expand testing for the presence of other possible tick-borne diseases in collected samples.
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