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Ticks collected from 15 locations in Quince Orchard Park
Tick Collection and testing for the following pathogens:
1. Borrelia burgdorferi
2. Borrelia lonestari
3. Anaplasma phagocytophilum
4. Babesia species
Clongen Laboratories, LLC
211 Perry Parkway, Suite 6
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Anna Ralchenko, B.S.
Heather Wingate, B.S.
Erica Fratz, Ph.D.
Maria Sarakhman, B.S.
Ahmed Kilani, Ph.D.
Ahmed F. Kilani, Ph.D. MT (ASCP) Study Completion Date
Procedure for Tick Drag – Quince Orchard Park – Gaithersburg, MD 20878
In order to collect ticks, a white sheet measuring 4’x4’ was attached to a six foot long flag
pole. The sheet was dragged over areas of mainly high grass and in shady areas where
deer were believed to rest. The ticks were collected using tweezers and were stored in
microcentrifuge tubes labeled with the location the tick was collected from. The tubes
were later transferred to the laboratory and tested. The procedure was performed on
The following is a breakdown of the ticks collected:
Area # Number of Ticks Tick species
2 0 NA
3 0 NA
7 0 NA
8 0 NA
9 0 NA
10 0 NA
13 0 NA
5 Amblyomma americanum,
Lone Star and 2 Dermacentor
variabilis, American Dog
The locations instead in the table are shown in the table on page 3.
Summary of the test results
1 Negative Negative Negative Negative
4 Negative Negative Negative Positive
5 Negative Negative Negative Negative
6 Negative Negative Negative Negative
11 Negative Positive Negative Positive
12 Negative Negative Positive Positive
14 Negative Negative Negative Negative
15 Negative Positive Negative Positive
Rates of Positive Results
Borrelia lonestari 25%
Anaplasma phagocytophilum 13%
Babesia species 50%
It is noteworthy that the ticks collected from the Quince Orchard Park development were of
the Amblyomma americanum, Lone Star species. The CDC site and others report that this
tick is found in the eastern, southeastern and south-central states although the range has
expanded over the past two to three decades. It is known to be an aggressive species of
ticks and has a variety of hosts. It is alarming that 50% of all tick populations collected
tested positive for Babesia species while 25% of all isolated ticks tested positive for
The tick collection was carried out late morning and mid afternoon which are not
considered peak times for tick feeding. Despite that, finding ticks a few yards away from
homes took minutes. As shown in the results, ticks carried the most diseases in areas
#11, #12 and #15 on Orchard ridge and in the wooded areas behind homes on Swanton
Lane and the Tennis court.
We believe that there are much larger numbers of ticks that can be picked up during
evening and early morning hours. The rates of infection are considerably high based on
the rates of test results our laboratory has seen over the past ten years from different
areas. As we believe that the same herd of deer that lives mainly in the Meadows area
(#4, #5, #6, #10, #11 and #12) owned by the city of Gaithersburg, it is highly likely that by
the end of the summer ticks from different parts of the development would feed on the
same herd of deer. Furthermore, deer from NIST cross the fence on a daily basis and
roam in very close proximity to homes. It is highly likely that ticks fall off of deer as they
travel in the residential neighborhoods thereby increasing the chance for tick bites in front
and back lawns. We do not recommend venturing beyond the tree line on Orchard Ridge
Drive as we found that this wooded area is heavily infested. Warning signs would be
beneficial to alert residents of the risk of ticks in the area.
We cannot over emphasize the importance of using tick repellants and possibly
insecticides known to be effective against ticks to spray lawns if you suspect that rodents
and deer venture too close to your property.
If bitten by a tick, save it in a zip lock bag and schedule a visit with your physician. Tick
testing is highly recommended, especially if signs of inflammation start appearing early on
following a tick bite. It is well documented that Lyme disease can be cured if caught early.
Late diagnosis complicates the course of treatment and the duration.