Based on current statistics conducted by the CDC, annual incidences of Lyme disease have increased in Massachusetts since 2012 (CDC, 2015). This project used tick information from the UMass Amherst database to determine surrogates of biodiversity that best explain Lyme disease incidences in the state. Previous studies support the dilution effect, which hypothesizes that a loss of biodiversity can increase infectious disease prevalence. To test the dilution effect against indicators of biodiversity, we ran both correlation and Akaike Information Criterion (AICc) analyses. Our results demonstrated that the number of people influenced the percent of infected ticks and the dilution effect hypothesis was refuted.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Biology and Biotechnology
Major Qualifying Project
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