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Serologic analyses of Peromyscus leucopus, a rodent reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi, in northeastern United States.

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An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect fluorescent-antibody test were used to detect antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of
Lyme disease, in Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse). Of the 661 mice captured in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York during 1980 and 1983 to 1987, 166 (25.1%) had antibodies to B. burgdorferi by ELISA. Comparative analyses of 210 serum specimens, collected in areas where
Lyme disease is endemic, revealed a threefold difference in sensitivity between the ELISA (38.1% positive) and the indirect fluorescent-antibody method (12.4%). Although prevalence of seropositive P. leucopus was highest during June, elevated amounts of antibody (1:1,280 to 1:2,560) were detected in mice that harbored spirochetes during all seasons. Being reservoirs for B. burgdorferi, these rodents are suitable for monitoring spirochete infections at foci and should be included in field evaluations of control programs aimed at suppressing
Lyme disease.

J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Jun;26(6):1138-41.

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