Environmental and Molecular Analysis of a Disease
PREREQUISITE: ENVST-UA 325 OR BIOL-UA 63
This is an upper-level undergraduate course that will teach students about the environmental determinants of disease vectors, and the molecular techniques used to measure prevalence of a pathogen in these vectors. Students will partake in a semester-long research project on Lyme disease, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the United States. The aim of the project is to determine the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease causative agent, in tick populations from selected New Jersey or New York forests. Students will collect ticks, bring them back to the lab and analyze them for the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Then collected and analyzed data will be fed into epidemiological models to assess human risk of Lyme disease in the studied areas.