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Comparison of the Leukocyte Response to Infection with Borrelia hermsii in Callospermophilus lateralis, Peromyscus maniculatus and Tamias amoenus
AdvisorTeglas, Michael B.
Agriculture, Veterinary and Rangeland Sciences
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The purpose of this study was to establish baseline white blood cell (WBC) differential values in various non-infected rodent species and to determine whether infection by Borrelia hermsii affects their WBC composition. This research utilized blood samples collected from a variety of locations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains over several consecutive years. Each sample was tested for infection by B. hermsii using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. One hundred fifty blood smears from non-infected rodents (50 from each species) and 52 blood smears from B. hermsii infected rodents were chosen for the purpose of this study. Samples were stained using Wright-Giemsa stain and 100 white blood cells from each slide were visually located and identified using a light microscope. Establishing white blood cell differential parameters in non-infected rodents from these species will provide the scientific community with an expected range for their WBC compositions. Determining the immunologic response to infection by B. hermsii will give insight into the role of rodents as reservoirs in the ecology of tick-borne relapsing fever.