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Closeup of red and brown tick on a blade of grass.

Tick-borne Diseases: Developing Molecular Approaches to Detect Babesiosis

August 15, 2019, at 12:00 PM ET


Tick-borne diseases (TBD) among humans are on the rise in the United States as urbanization along previously unpopulated areas continues. The causative infectious agents of TBDs include bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. As part of our pledge to support global health, ATCC has acquired and authenticated numerous reference materials that are ideal for use in the development and evaluation of innovative therapeutics and rapid diagnostic tools. In this webinar, we will provide an overview of TBD epidemiology, the current status of diagnostic methods, and resources available from ATCC that advance TBD research priorities. A special focus will be placed on recent projects aimed at improving the diagnosis of babesiosis via Droplet Digital PCR and mass spectrometry technologies.

Key Points

  • The most common TBDs in the United States are Lyme disease, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, and babesiosis, caused by the protozoan parasite Babesia microti.
  • The accurate diagnosis of TBD can be complicated by the possibility of co-infection, which exacerbates disease symptomatology; therefore, more accurate detection methods are required.
  • ATCC scientists are working toward improving the diagnosis of babesiosis via cutting-edge technologies.

Watch The Presentation


Robert Molestina, headshot.

Robert Molestina, PhD

Lead Scientist, ATCC

Robert Molestina, PhD, is a Lead Scientist at ATCC. He has a background in scientific research in infectious diseases and execution of government-funded programs. Dr. Molestina serves as the subject matter expert in research and development activities in the Protistology and Malaria Laboratories which include, among others, the development of assays for molecular authentication of parasites, optimization of culture and cryopreservation protocols, and implementation of animal models for parasite propagation. In addition to managing parasitic protozoa and malaria resources under the BEI program, Dr. Molestina serves as the point of contact for arthropod vector resources offered through the BEI repository. His publication record for the last 20 years covers a diversity of scientific interests, including bacterial pathogenesis, molecular parasitology, eukaryotic microbiology, and proteomics of infectious disease.