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Effect of prior exposure to noninfected ticks on susceptibility of mice to Lyme disease spirochetes.


To determine whether prior exposure to Nearctic Ixodes vector ticks protects native reservoir mice from tick-borne infection by
Lyme disease spirochetes, we compared their infectivities for white-footed mice and laboratory mice that had been repeatedly infested by noninfected deer ticks. Nymphal ticks readily engorged on tick-exposed laboratory mice, but their feeding success on white-footed mice progressively declined. Tick-borne spirochetes readily infected previously tick-infested mice. Thus, prior infestation by Nearctic ticks does not protect sympatric reservoir mice or Palearctic laboratory mice from infection by sympatric tick-borne spirochetes.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Nov;64(11):4596-9. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S. [1]