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Research activities in the Schwartz laboratory focuses on emerging tick-borne infectious diseases, primarily Lyme disease and human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Projects have included development of molecular diagnostics, determination of pathogen prevalence in natural tick and wildlife populations, characterization of heterogeneous populations of Borrelia burgdorferi in nature and Lyme disease patients and mechanisms of B. burgdorferi pathogenesis. The laboratory was one of the first to apply molecular analysis to the study of B. burgdorferi. Among early contributions were sequencing of the B. burgdorferi ribosomal RNA operon (before the genome was sequenced) and utilizing this information to develop diagnostic assays for detection of the spirochete in Lyme disease patients, wildlife and ticks. The group also developed a PCR-based assay for typing spirochetal isolates which led to the seminal observation that B. burgdorferi genotype predicted its capacity for hematogenous dissemination. These studies led to current studies applying genomic and genetic approaches with the goal of identifying genes that might be responsible for this differential pathogenicity. The Schwartz laboratory spearheaded a group of eight investigators who collaborated on producing B. burgdorferi whole genome membrane arrays and the laboratory subsequently constructed oligonucleotide arrays that have been provided to many other investigators. Their use has facilitated numerous studies on transcriptional regulation in B. burgdorferi.

The Schwartz Laboratory
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
New York Medical College
Valhalla, NY 10595


 


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