Xenodiagnosis Using Ixodes scapularis Larval Ticks in Humans

  • Siu-Ping Turk
  • Carla Williams
  • Adriana Marques
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1690)


Xenodiagnosis is the use of a natural vector to detect the presence of an organism, and xenodiagnosis using Ixodes ticks has long been used by entomologists in Lyme disease research to provide evidence of the host’s infectious status with Borrelia burgdorferi. We developed the methodology and performed the first human research study using uninfected larval Ixodes scapularis ticks to assess evidence of B. burgdorferi infection. Here, we describe in detail the methodology used for the procedure. Xenodiagnosis using Ixodes ticks in humans remains an experimental method and must be performed under an approved clinical research protocol.

Key words

Xenodiagnosis Methods Human Ixodes scapularis Larval ticks Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi 



This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

We thank Linden T. Hu, Sam R. Telford III, Kenneth Dardick, Erin Chung, Christina Brandeburg, and Maureen Lundt for their participation in the development of the procedures.


The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siu-Ping Turk
    • 1
  • Carla Williams
    • 2
  • Adriana Marques
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and MicrobiologyNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., NCI-FrederickFrederickUSA

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