Ticks are ectoparasites, belonging to the arachnid class. They survive by feeding on the blood of humans. Ticks are mostly found in shady, damp, brushy, wooded, or grassy areas, especially in tall grass. This also includes your own backyard. Ticks feed by perching in low vegetation and waiting for a susceptible host on which they can attach themselves and feed.
From the perspective of disease transmission to humans, the essential characteristic of ticks is their need to ingest a blood meal to transform to their next stage of development. Once on a host, the tick inserts its hypostome, a central piercing element with hooks, into the host’s skin. Some ticks secrete a cementing material to fasten themselves to the host.
The B. burgdorferi, PCR test is a 3 step amplified nucleic acid assay that detects B. burgdorferi specific DNA sequences. The gene fragments are first selected with specific probes. Then, DNA is amplified in two independent PCR assays using different primers from the Osp A gene and flagellin gene. Lastly, the amplified products are detected by hybridizations to specific probes in a Southern Dot-Blot Assay. This test detects DNA from:B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, B. andersonii, B. garinii and B. mayoni (based on sequence information). The sample is considered positive if either the genomic or plasmid result is positive.
- Short-term memory problems
- Joint or muscle aches