Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Jory Brinkerhoff


Lyme disease has spread in the United States from the northeast to more southern and western parts of the country. It has been shown that the tick which most often carries the Lyme disease pathogen (Borrelia burgdorferi) in North America, Ixodes scapularis, has also spread to these new areas of concern. In Virginia, the disease has progressed from the eastern shore to the western, more mountainous regions. Through obtaining historical museum specimens of mice from 11 locations in Virginia, we seek to determine whether the Lyme disease causing pathogen, B. burgdorferi, has always been present in the western regions of Virginia, or if the pathogen was brought over by the I. scapularis ticks themselves. Thus far, one specimen has tested positive for B. burgdorferi from Accomack county, located in southeastern Virginia; however no evidence has been found to indicate that the pathogen was present in western sites where cases have increased recently.

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