Red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) were live trapped in northern St. Louis County, Minnesota (USA), in late September and October 1988 and experimentally inoculated with Borrelia burgdorferi. Spirochetes were isolated from most animals 14 and 28 days following inoculation. Thus, red-backed voles exposed to B. burgdorferi were susceptible to infection and could be a reservoir host, along with chipmunks (Tamias striatus) and other small rodents, in areas where white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) populations are low. No evidence of clinical disease was noted in any infected voles.
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Vol. 31 • No. 3