Analyzing ticks, town by town

This year, more than 15,000 people in Massachusetts will get Lyme disease through a tick bite. For a fee, the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst will conduct DNA analysis to discover any pathogens in the tick. The results won’t tell you if the tick transmitted a disease to a human – that depends on the amount of pathogen in the tick and how long it has fed – but some people like to know. Scientifically, it can give insight into the level and spread of disease in specific regions, according to Stephen Rich, a UMass microbiologist who runs the lab. For more detail on tick pathogen analysis, including instructions on how to mail a tick, visit the LMZ.

DATA: Laboratory of Medical Zoology

Gabriel Florit, Beth Daley / Globe Staff