This is year three of Green Mountain College’s tick research project led by prof. of biology Bill Landesman and funded through a $75,000 grant from the Vermont Genetics Network.
“We are trying to understand how the risk of acquiring Lyme disease in nature varies from place to place,” explained Bill in this WCAX-TV story.
GMC students under Bill’s tutelage spent much of the summer collecting ticks in several locations near campus, tracking population size and using DNA analysis to find the bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease.
“After it starts feeding, the bacteria will multiply and grow in the gut. Once a critical threshold of bacteria is reached, they are able to make their way into the salivary glands and ultimately into the host, which could be a person or another animal,” Bill said.
Bill also gave an in-depth interview about his research on WCAX’s Across the Fence, which aired August 4.