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1 October 1993 EXPERIMENTAL INFECTION OF THE EASTERN CHIPMUNK (TAMIAS STRIATUS) WITH THE LYME DISEASE SPIROCHETE (BORRELIA BURGDORFERI)
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Abstract

Lyme disease, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is endemic in the northeast, north-central, and Pacific coastal states of the United States. The eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) is found throughout the disease-enzootic regions except along the Pacific coast, and may serve as an important reservoir host in some locations. To characterize their potential as a host, 11 adult chipmunks were inoculated with 105 spirochetes from strains of B. burgdorferi isolated from Peromyscus leucopus and Ixodes scapularis in a hyperendemic area of Westchester County, New York (USA). All inoculated chipmunks became infected. Spirochetemias were detected by isolating spirochetes in Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly media in eight of eight chipmunks, and lasted for 2 to 5 days. Spirochetes were isolated from the ears of all animals, starting at 1 wk and for ≤4 mo, and from various internal organs at 133 days post-inoculation. Laboratory-reared larval I. scapularis ticks became infected with spirochetes after feeding on two of the inoculated chipmunks.

McLean, Ubico, and Cooksey: EXPERIMENTAL INFECTION OF THE EASTERN CHIPMUNK (TAMIAS STRIATUS) WITH THE LYME DISEASE SPIROCHETE (BORRELIA BURGDORFERI)
Robert G. McLean, Sonya R. Ubico, and Lynita M. Cooksey "EXPERIMENTAL INFECTION OF THE EASTERN CHIPMUNK (TAMIAS STRIATUS) WITH THE LYME DISEASE SPIROCHETE (BORRELIA BURGDORFERI)," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 29(4), 527-532, (1 October 1993). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-29.4.527
Received: 12 February 1992; Published: 1 October 1993
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