National News

UConn wants your ticks for testing

Posted June 7, 2018 2:19 p.m. EDT

— The University of Connecticut wants to know more about the ticks in your backyard.

UConn's Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory said it is researching and testing ticks to keep humans and animals safe.

The CVMDL received 33 ticks for testing back in April. Lyme disease was detected in eight of the specimens.

UConn said ticks can carry more than just Lyme disease. And more than one species of tick in the northeast carry infectious diseases.

Its research helps a person or veterinarian understand the potential exposure to pathogens carried by the insect that committed a bite.

Researchers also used the results from tick testing to track current and emerging disease producing agents carried by ticks.

The data can be used in setting priority areas for prevention and vaccine development.

UConn said ticks received at the CVMDL are first examined under a microscope by technicians to determine the species, life stage and degree of blood engorgement. Those are all factors that may impact transmission of pathogens to the person or animal.

The tests are done for a fee. For how to do that, download the form here.

The insects may then be tested for the DNA of pathogens that are common to that tick species. Results are normally reported within three to five business days of receiving the sample, but next-day testing is available for an additional fee.

If you find a tick on yourself, your child, or your pet, remove it immediately.