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The number of
Lyme disease cases in Oregon has increased in recent years despite the fact that the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, has never been isolated in the state. Rodent and tick surveys were undertaken in 1997 to isolate and characterize strains of B. burgdorferi from Oregon and to identify potential reservoirs and vectors of
Lyme disease. Borrelia burgdorferi was isolated from Neotoma fuscipes, Peromyscus maniculatus, P. boylii, and Ixodes pacificus. Both N. fuscipes and P. maniculatus were infested with I. pacificus and I. spinipalpis. Although I. pacificus infested P. boylii, I. spinipalpis was not found on this rodent, and only 4% of the P. boylii were infected with B. burgdorferi compared with the 19% and 18% infection rates found in N. fuscipes and P. maniculatus, respectively. Variation in the molecular weights of the outer surface proteins A and B were found in these first confirmed isolates of B. burgdorferi from Oregon, as well as truncated forms of outer surface protein B.