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Factors affecting the abundance of blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks and small mammals in the Thousand Islands region

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Title: Factors affecting the abundance of blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks and small mammals in the Thousand Islands region
Author: Werden, Lisa
Department: Department of Pathobiology
Program: Pathobiology
Advisor: Jardine, ClaireBarker, Ian K.
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to determine the distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, and its tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) in the Thousand Islands in Ontario, and to assess the effects of various factors, including host populations, temperature, and vegetation, on the distribution of Bb and ticks in this new endemic region. Data were collected via drag sampling and small mammal trapping at 12 sites and multimodel inference was used to evaluate variables. There was inter-island variation in the abundance of ticks and prevalence of Bb in ticks. Important predictors of tick numbers and infection prevalence included deer abundance, distance to the United States, temperature, species richness, and relative mouse abundance. These results will contribute to management strategies to reduce Lyme disease risk in the Thousand Islands and to our understanding of the effects of biodiversity on disease risk.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3623
Date: 2012-05


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