Alice Truong

San Francisco State University

“Effects of a novel OspA Vaccine on Borrelia burgdorferi Acquisition and Establishment in Ixodes scapularis and Peromyscus maniculatus”

In my study, I examined the effects that an orally administered ospA vaccine would have on the acquisition and transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen, in Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice) and Ixodes scapularis (the Eastern black-legged tick). Two strains of Borrelia burgdorferi were used to assess whether the vaccine’s performance varied in different strains of the pathogens. Using infection experiments and tick rearing techniques, I generated infected I. scapularis nymphal ticks. The P. maniculatus were given the oral bait ospA vaccine over an 8-week period and were inoculated with lab grown cultures of either the CA4 or B31 strains of Borrelia burgdorferi. The P. maniculatus were then tested for infection as well as the bacterial load in each individual mouse. The infected I. scapularis ticks were then allowed to feed on the vaccinated mice and were also tested for infection as well as bacterial load.


My project aims to test the efficacy of an orally administered ospA vaccine in preventing Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice) from acquiring Lyme disease infection from Borrelia burgdorferi. I am also looking at the effects on pathogen acquisition that the vaccine may have on ticks (Ixodes scapularis) that feed on the vaccinated deer mice.

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