With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), Virginia Tech researchers have discovered a unique property in the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, making it a potential target for treating and diagnosing Lyme disease. Over the past two decades, the United States has experienced a dramatic increase in both the number of reported cases and the geographic distribution of Lyme disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. About 300,000 people each year are diagnosed with Lyme disease. For more information, read this Virginia Tech news article.