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To define conditions promoting inherited infection by
Lyme disease spirochetes in Ixodes ticks, we variously infected ticks with Borrelia afzelii and examined their progenies by dark-field microscopy, immunofluorescence, PCR, and serial passage. No episode of inherited infection was evident, regardless of instar or gender infected or frequency of exposure. We suggest that these spirochetes rarely, if ever, are inherited by vector ticks.