Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


UMMC / University of Massachusetts Medical Center


Caused by the spirochete B. burgdorferi, Lyme disease (LD) is the most common vector-borne infection in the United States. In this study, we aim to determine the role of iNKT cells in developing a protective immune response to LD and against Lyme arthritis 4 weeks after infection by studying CD1d-/- (iNKT-deficient) mice. ELISA, qPCR, and clinical rating guidelines to visually score arthritis in the joint were utilized to determine the role of iNKT cells in these mice versus wild-type mice 4 weeks post B.b. infection. Although iNKT cells have been found to control infection 1-2 weeks post infection in other studies, we found that after 4 weeks, iNKT cells do not play a significant role in controlling LD in the murine model used.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2012


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology