This collection contains genetic extracts from blood samples that were collected from select small mammals during small mammal sampling and sent for testing for tick-borne pathogens (NEON sample class: rpt2_pathogentesting_in.bloodExtract). Small mammal sampling is based on the lunar calendar, with timing of sampling constrained to occur within 10 days before or after the new moon. Typically, core sites are sampled 6 times per year, and relocatable sites 4 times per year. Small mammals are sampled using box traps (models LFA, XLK, H.B. Sherman Traps, Inc., Tallahassee, FL, USA). Box traps are arrayed in three to eight (depending on the size of the site) 10 x 10 grids with 10m spacing between traps at all sites. Small mammal trapping bouts are comprised of one or three nights of trapping, depending on whether a grid is designated for pathogen sample collection (3 nights) or not (1 night). Blood is collected using the mandibular blood sampling technique, which involves collection from the submandibular and/or facial vein or artery. Blood samples are placed on dry ice in the field and stored at - 80 degrees Celsius. Only blood samples with volumes of at least 20 microliters are sent for pathogen analysis. Blood samples are collected at a frequency of once per individual per bout. Blood samples are tested via PCR individually for a variety of tick-borne pathogens. Pathogen extracts from the University of Massachusetts Laboratory of Medical Zoology typically contain total nucleic acid concentrations of 0.5-8 ng/ul and are archived at the NEON Biorepository in 2 mL cryovials and stored at -80 degrees Celsius. See related links below for protocols and NEON related data products.
NEON Biorepository Data Portal (2023). NEON Biorepository Mammal Collection (Pathogen Extracts [Blood]). Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/37hta7 accessed via the NEON Biorepository Data Portal, https://biorepo.neonscience.org/ on 2023-12-01.