Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

Richard Marconi


Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America. It can be hard to detect using blood tests, especially in the early stage. Due to the number of significant complications from untreated or undertreated Lyme disease, better methods need to be found to detect the disease. Some surface lipoproteins may be used to detect early disease due to their early expression. Others are maintained for the duration of the infection and can be used to detect chronic Lyme disease. Antibody responses to OspA, OspC and OspE were measured in sera from experimentally infected dogs. The response to OspA was only detectable in a few samples and did not appear to be sensitive for mammalian infections. A protein construct based on multiple epitopes of OspC was used to detect an antibody response starting three weeks after initial infection, and remained detectable for three months. As the response to OspC decreased, OspE could be used to detect an antibody response from three to six months after the initial infection. Because of the strength and the differences in timing of the antibody responses, OspC and OspE could be used to design an accurate blood test for Lyme disease that also indicates early and late stages of infection based on the results.


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Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024

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Diseases Commons