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J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Aug;26(8):1482-6.

Ticks and biting insects infected with the etiologic agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi.

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Department of Entomology, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven 06504.


Members of 18 species of ticks, mosquitoes, horse flies, and deer flies were collected in southeastern Connecticut and tested by indirect fluorescent-antibody staining methods for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. An infection rate of 36.2% (116 tested), recorded for immature Ixodes dammini, exceeded positivity values for all other arthropod species. Prevalence of infection for hematophagous insects ranged from 2.9% of 105 Hybomitra lasiophthalma to 14.3% of seven Hybomitra epistates. Infected I. dammini larvae and nymphs coexisted with infected Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) immatures on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), but unlike I. dammini, none of the 55 adult American dog ticks collected from vegetation harbored B. burgdorferi. Groups of 113 field-collected mosquitoes of Aedes canadensis and 43 Aedes stimulans were placed in cages with uninfected Syrian hamsters. Of these, 11 females of both species contained B. burgdorferi and had fed fully or partially from the hamsters. No spirochetes were isolated from the hamsters, but antibodies were produced in one test animal.

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