The Molecular Lab provides tick-borne pathogen testing to the AAFM Vector control section.  The lab uses Triplex RealTime Polymerase Chain Reaction to screen field collected black-legged ticks for the three pathogens most common to Northeastern United States.

Tick- borne Pathogens:
  • Borrelia burgdorferi - spirochete responsible for Lyme Disease
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum - bacterium responsible for Human & Equine Anaplasmosis
  • Babesia microti - protozoan which causes Babesiosis


Past molecular projects have included:
  • Phytophthora ramorum (causative agent of Sudden Oak Death) - imported nursery stock
  • West Nile Virus - field collected mosquitoes
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5, H7) - domestic poultry and wild waterfowl
  • Avian Paramyxovirus-1
  • Borrelia burgdorferi (bacterium responsible for Lyme disease) - cooperative project with Forest, Parks & Recreation

There is much potential for growth in the molecular lab.