Lyme disease tick, the black-legged or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, is found in the Neartic region (Canada, USA and Mexico). In the USA Ixodes scapularis transmits Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, babesiosis and possibly Powassan Encephalitis.

Ixodes scapularis
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Genome analysis of major tick and mite vectors of human pathogens

Ticks and mites (subphylum Chelicerata: class Acari) transmit a greater variety of human and animal pathogens than any other arthropod vector. Tick- and mite-borne diseases are global health problems caused by a variety of bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens, which are responsible for significant morbidity and thousands of human deaths annually. The incidence of many tick-borne diseases is increasing worldwide - many are emerging zoonoses or exotic diseases that could be introduced to the U.S.


The annotation of the Ixodes genome is a collaboration between VectorBase, JCVI with support from the Broad Institute. Each group generated a set of gene predictions which were merged into a single canonical set (IscaW1.1). The merging strategy will be described in the genome paper (in preparation).


The Ixodes scapularis Wikel colony was established by Dr. S. Wikel (University of Connecticut Health Center) in 1996 using approximately 30 pairs of field collected adult male and female ticks from New York, Oklahoma and a Lyme disease endemic area of Connecticut. The colony has been continuously in-bred for approximatley twelve generations since establishment and has not been supplemented with field collected material. The colony is known to be a competent vector of various Borrelia burgdorferi (strains B31 and 297) and Babesia microti isolates. Dr. D.

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