News & Events

Dr. Gideon Wasserberg gets contract from NC Department of Health and Human Services to study the spread of Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease appears to be spreading south from western Virginia into the western Piedmont of North Carolina. Dr. Gideon Wasserberg’s lab has been conducting an active surveillance of the vector (the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis) and the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi it carries in order to characterize their geographic distribution along the NC-VA western Piedmont border. Using tick flagging in state parks and tick collection from hunter-harvested deer, his graduate student Jimmie Teague (with the help of lab members and volunteers), has recorded first evidences of Lyme Disease invasion and transmission-cycle establishment in NC. Based on this work, Dr. Wasserberg has received a new contract from the NC Department of Health and Human Services in order to expand this surveillance effort towards the more northwesterly counties of Ashe, Alleghany, and adjacent counties where Lyme Disease human incidence appears to be on the rise.