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Microbiome Testing on Ticks

Calling all civilian scientists: Send your ticks to Drexel!

Close up Macro of Deer Tick Crawling on Skin

Lyme disease, one of the biggest epidemics facing America today, is carried in a tiny tick. These ticks also carry many other microbes that can cause horrific diseases, which have also been on the rise. Though there has been research on these microbes, we have yet to fully understand how they interact with each other, affect transmission, and co-infect people. Drexel University College of Medicine's Center for Advanced Microbial Processing is fighting back. We are studying ticks throughout the United States and the diseases they carry via species-specific microbiome analysis.

This microbiome analysis helps reveal the inner microscopic world of ticks, and we use these data to make a comprehensive map of which microbes are carried by the different ticks in different parts of the United States so that physicians can tailor testing for their communities.

To continue our research, we need your help! If you find a tick on yourself, a friend or a pet, please take five minutes and mail it to us. Your efforts will help in combating one of the fastest rising epidemics our society faces and set the foundation for building affordable and reliable diagnostics, as well as finding a cure!

Download the tick submission form

In the Media

May 27, 2020: Kayla M. Socarrás, a Microbiology & Immunology PhD student and researcher, was quoted in a Men's Health article about how to get rid of ticks this summer. The article was also published by Yahoo.

September 10, 2019: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology, and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, was quoted in a Grid Philly story about why we're seeing more cases of Lyme disease.

November 21, 2017: A tick collection research project led by College of Medicine faculty was mentioned in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about how confirmed cases of Lyme in Pennsylvania reached their highest toll in 2016.

August 30, 2017: Kayla Socarras, a student in the Microbiology & Immunology PhD program, and Jaroslaw Krol, laboratory manager, appeared in a segment on Fox29 News, discussing a tick collection program run by Drexel's Center for Advanced Microbial Processing.

August 23, 2017: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about a project his lab is undertaking to collect ticks from the public and use advanced gene sequencing techniques to study their microbiomes. Dr. Ehrlich’s research study was also quoted in a KYW-Newsradio (1060-AM) on August 26.

Mass Spectrometer Source at the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing (CAMP) lab.