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J Med Entomol. 1995 Jul;32(4):519-21.

Dispersal of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi to salivary glands of feeding nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

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Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Fort Collins, CO 80522, USA.


Salivary gland explant cultures from 3/16 (19%) of unfed nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say contained Lyme disease spirochetes, increasing to a maximum of 14/16 (88%) at 72 h of tick feeding. Homogenates of tick salivary glands did not produce infection in laboratory white mice unless harvested from ticks attached for > or = 60 h. Dispersal of spirochetes to the salivary glands appears to occur during the act of tick feeding, thus affecting the ability of ticks to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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