Term of Award

Spring 1994

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Biology

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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