Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science




yme Disease (LD) incidence and spatial distribution has grown dramatically in the past 20 years. In Virginia, the growth has been especially drastic, primarily in the Western part of the state. This research project investigates how genetic variability of the Lyme Disease causing bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, might be contributing to this increase in LD incidence in western Virginia. To do this, B. burgdorferi samples were isolated from ticks found across the state and were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Phylogenetic and minimum spanning tree analyses were also performed. It was hypothesized that the increasing number of Lyme disease infections in western Virginia is partially due to the recent influx of highly pathogenic B. burgdorferi sequence types from the Northeast US, the Midwest US, or eastern Virginia.

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Biology Commons