Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Biomedical Science

Program or Major

Medical Laboratory Science

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Juan Rojo


Overall, approximately 95 percent of reported cases of vector-borne disease were associated with ticks, making these the most medically important group of arthropods in the United States.1 Despite the prevalence of tick-borne infections, the process for the diagnosis of this condition is not well studied. This study aims to analyze data from a pool of 100 patients who underwent testing for tick-borne disease in the same institution in Dover, New Hampshire during the most recent peak tick season of 2019. Information utilized in this study included: patient age, sex, location of testing (inpatient versus outpatient), diagnostic testing methods used pertaining to investigation of tick-borne disease, results of tick-borne panel testing, number of days to obtain tick panel results, symptomology, treatments pertaining to the investigation of tick-borne disease, and record of follow-up visits. Analyses of these data points revealed a trend that suggests the current diagnostic process for tick-borne disease is unnecessarily burdensome for patients and medical facilities. There is a need for a faster turnaround time in testing to decrease the need for supplemental tests and follow-up visits pertaining to the investigation of tick-borne diseases. This study also suggests that recognition of symptoms associated with positive results is paramount to improve the detection of tick-borne illnesses. Further investigation of our current methods and possible future adaptations to them are critical if we are to conquer the diverse array of challenges presented by tick-borne diseases.

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Table 1

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Table 2