Term of Award

Spring 1994

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

James H. Oliver, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Frank E. French

Committee Member 2

Wayne A. Krissinger


The ability of three common tick species from Georgia to maintain and transmit the causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, was compared under laboratory conditions. A B. burgdorferi cotton rat isolate (MI-6) from Florida was selected as a strain from the south, and the SH2-82 isolate from New York was used as a positive control. Amblyomma americanum (n = 283) and Dermacentor variabilis (n = 388) did not transmit the MI-6 isolate from inoculated hamsters to naive laboratory mice, Mus musculus, and nymphal ticks did not maintain this isolate transstadially (n = 105 for both). Ixodes scapularis transmitted the MI-6 and SH2-82 isolates to 5 of 17 (29.4%) and 5 of 5 (100%) laboratory mice, respectively. There was a significant difference (P< 0.05) in the transmission of the two isolates. I. scapularis also transmitted the MI-6 isolate to two of three cotton rats. The infection rate of I. scapularis fed on inoculated hamsters with the MI-6 isolate was 26.9% (n = 52) for nymphs, and 21.4% (n = 28) for adults.

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