2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Analysis of Tick DNA for the Presence of Disease-Causing Bacterial DNA


Dravid R. Paiva*, Mason Dickhut, Saron F. Habtemichael, Mangsi H. Limbu, Usna A. Khan, Dhara R. Patel, Sneha F. Ravikumar, and Kaveri Sharma
Dr. Carolina Sempertegui, Faculty Mentor

In the United States, ticks are responsible for 95% of vector-borne diseases. In Northeast Missouri, Amblyomma americanum (Ixodida: Ixodidae), commonly known as the lone star tick, is responsible for the majority of the tick bites. The purpose of this study is to analyze tick DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of disease-causing pathogen DNA. In total, there are 3,300 larvae, 3,600 nymphs, and 240 adult ticks that will be tested for the following pathogens: Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Borrelia lonestari, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Francisella tularensis. The ticks for this project were collected from May 2018 through November 2018 from Mark Twain National Forest in central Missouri and Knob Noster State Park in eastern Missouri using dry ice traps and drag sampling.

Keywords: Lone star tick, tick-borne infection, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Borrelia lonestari, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia rickettsii, Francisella tularensis

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

* Indicates the Student Presenter
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