Babesia microti is the causative agent for babesiosis, a blood-based parasitic disease that causes malaria-like symptoms in humans. It is passed through Ixodes scapularis (deer ticks) and is rising in incidence in the upper Midwest. Ticks that carry Borrelia, the causative agent for Lyme disease, may also carry Babesia microti. There are two major goals in this project: determine the prevalence of Babesia microti in ticks in the Winona area and determine whether those ticks that carry Borrelia are more likely to carry Babesia microti. The first part of the project requires development of a PCR assay that works well in detecting B. microti DNA. The second part involves development of a quantitative PCR (QPCR) assay that is more sensitive than regular PCR in order to detect B. microti DNA. DNA isolated from ticks by Dr. Kim Bates and others in her laboratory will be tested for the presence of B. microti. An update will be presented on progress in the project.
Final Report Form, Research Report