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To determine the susceptibility of some common Colorado (USA) rodent species to Borrelia burgdorferi, pregnant Peromyscus maniculatus, Tamias minimus, and Spermophilus lateralis were trapped in May 1990 and kept in quarantine until their young were old enough to be used in the experiment. Six to eight 8-wk-old individuals of each of the Colorado species and, for comparison, eight laboratory raised P. leucopus were subcutaneously inoculated with > or = 10(5) spirochetes in 0.1 ml in July 1990. Tissue specimens were collected for isolation from these animals through April 1991. Spirochetes were isolated from blood, ear, bladder, kidney, spleen, liver, and eye in Barbour-Stoener-Kelly (BSK) medium from P. maniculatus, P. leucopus and T. minimus. Spirochetes were isolated from at least one tissue from all of these animals and no isolations were obtained from any of the S. lateralis. Thus, three of the four rodent species tested are susceptible to, and could harbor, B. burgdorferi.