Testing FAQ's


Ticks will be identified by species before testing for pathogens. Irrespective of the species, all ticks will be tested for 16 pathogens using our lab-developed universal tick-borne pathogen assay. With our assay, we can detect the following pathogens:

1. Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
2. Borrelia miyamotoi (BM disease)
3. Ehrlichia muris (Ehrlichiosis)
4. Ehrlichia chaffeensis (Ehrlichiosis)
5. Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Anaplasmosis)
6. Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever)
7. Rickettsia parkeri (Rickettsiosis)
8. Bartonella henselae (Bartonellosis)

1. Powassan virus (Powassan encephalitis)
2. Deer tick virus (Powassan encephalitis)
3. Heartland virus (Heartland virus disease)
4. Bourbon virus (Bourbon virus disease)
5. Colorado tick fever virus (Colorado tick fever)
6. Tick-borne encephalitis virus (Tick-borne encephalitis)

1. Babesia microtia (Babesiosis)
2. Babesia duncani (Babesiosis)

Ideally, we will be processing the samples within 3-5 business days of sample receipt and shall disseminate the results (tick species and pathogen/s identified) via email. Results can also be checked at our results page with the email and corresponding tick ID number.

Check the "Tick Submission Updates" page for mailing and packing instructions. Please fill out the tick submission form. Each tick will be assigned a unique ID. So, if you are sending multiple ticks, please complete the form for each tick.

As we have automated our process, ticks submitted without filling out the tick submission form will not be processed/tested.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to process the tick sent to our lab without completing the payment form.

Disclaimer: The Upstate Tick Testing Program is meant only for academic / research purposes and should not be considered as a diagnostic tool or as a basis on which to make health care decisions. All ticks in this program are tested for pathogen-specific nucleic acids via real-time PCR. A tick that tests positive for a pathogen does not confirm that the bitten human or animal was exposed to the pathogen.

Learn More About Tick Testing

We use multiplex RT-PCR to detect 16 tick-borne pathogens. Our methodology and assay details have been published in a peer-reviewed research article: Community-engaged tick surveillance and tickMAP as a public health tool to track the emergence of ticks and tick-borne diseases in New York.