Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



The overall goal of this present study was to determine the prevalence of the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in south central Kentucky. A survey of ticks collected from a single location in Warren County, Kentucky was conducted between the months of April and June, 2010. A total of 293 ticks were collected. Three species were identified: 264 (91.7 %) of the ticks were Amblyoma americanum, 18 (6.6%) were Dermacentor variabilis, and 1 (0.35%) was Ixodes scapularis. The ten remaining ticks were immature nymphs and could not be identified. After identifying the species and sex of each tick, DNA isolations were performed for each specimen. DNA concentrations ranged from 2.2 ng/µl to 90.9 ng/µl. A PCR-based assay was used to test for the presence of DNA from Borrelia burgdorferi into DNA. The results indicated that 31/293 (10.95%) of ticks tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Cheryl Davis


Biology | Chemistry