Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

John Christenson

Second Advisor

Fr. William Greytak

Third Advisor

Guido Bugni


Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted to humans in the bite of a deer tick. Because it is a pathogenic bacterium, the correct choice of antibiotic as well as the timely application of this antibiotic kills the bacterium thus halting the effects of the disease. The main problem in treating patients is the lack of a consistent and accurate diagnostic test. Because of this problem, a diagnostic test for Lyme borreliosis has been developed by researchers at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT. To determine the accuracy of this immunoassay, various human samples of urine, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, and breast milk were blindly tested. The results of these tests were compared to other diagnostic tests currently being used and also were checked with the host’s Lyme disease history. The test appeared to be as accurate as other tests being used today. If further studies verify these results, the diagnosis and, therefore, treatment of Lyme borreliosis patients will be improved.