Growing up you probably remember taking field trips to museums and seeing pieces of art, sculptures, and even mummies, but did your visits ever expose you to blood-sucking parasites? That’s where the U.S. National Tick Collection (USNTC) comes in. It houses the world’s largest tick collection and is the leading resource for information related to the parasitic arachnids.
Currently located on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, the U.S. National Tick Collection dates back to 1931 during the apex of Rocky Mountain spotted fever outbreaks in Idaho and Montana. Discovering the role ticks play in the transmittal of the disease led to more research into tick pathology and resulted in the formation of Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), a precursor to the USNTC. Growing exponentially through a multitude of donations and acquisitions of tick collections, the RML transitioned into the USNTC in 1983 when it was donated to the National Museum of National History, or as it’s better known, the Smithsonian Institution.
The USNTC collection’s residency has been on the campus of Georgia Southern University since 1990. It is comprised of over a million tick specimens from regions across the world, an extensive library of tick books and research data, and is a vital resource frequented by public health organization in the ongoing research in studying the pathology of ticks and the diseases attributed to them.
“The U.S. National Tick Collection (USNTC)” Georgia Southern University