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Yale J Biol Med. 2014 Mar 5;87(1):3-13. eCollection 2014 Mar.

What ticks do under your skin: two-photon intravital imaging of Ixodes scapularis feeding in the presence of the lyme disease spirochete.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


Lyme disease, due to infection with the Ixodes-tick transmitted spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere. Our understanding of the tick-pathogen-vertebrate host interactions that sustain an enzootic cycle for B. burgdorferi is incomplete. In this article, we describe a method for imaging the feeding of Ixodes scapularis nymphs in real-time using two-photon intravital microscopy and show how this technology can be applied to view the response of Lyme borrelia in the skin of an infected host to tick feeding.


Borrelia burgdorferi; Ixodes scapularis ticks; Lyme disease; two-photon intravital microscopy

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