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Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne
disease in Europe and North America. In the hyperendemic
Lyme disease regions of the eastern United States, nymphal Ixodes scapularis are the principal ticks transmitting the
Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). Approximately 25% of questing nymphs in endemic regions are infected with spirochetes. High throughput-sensitive and specific methods for testing nymphal I. scapularis for infection with B. burgdorferi are clearly needed. In the current study, we evaluated whether low-density microarrays could be adapted for the rapid and accurate detection and characterization of spirochetes in nymphal I. scapularis. Three different microarray platforms were developed and tested for the detection of spirochetes in ticks. They could both detect and differentiate different Borrelia genospecies, in one case detecting as few as a single copy of Borrelia DNA.
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