Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Patricia Feria Arroyo

Second Advisor

Dr. Tamer Oraby

Third Advisor

Dr. Mirayda Torres-Avila


The transboundary region of U.S.-Mexico possesses similar weather conditions and habitats favoring insects (vectors) like ticks. Several tick species found in the transboundary region of U.S.-Mexico can transmit pathogens. In the last three years, a total of 40 cases of Rickettsial infections, 28 in Tamaulipas and 12 in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, have been reported. A low level of knowledge about diseases that ticks can transmit along with a lack of appropriate protection practices can severely affect human health. Limited surveys on ticks and tick-borne disease are available. Our goal was to (1) assess the perception of knowledge of ticks and tick-borne diseases among residents in cities of the transboundary region of U.S.-Mexico and (2) create awareness on how to prevent tick-borne diseases. We hypothesized that a survey would provide data to assess the level of perception of knowledge that residents have about ticks and tick-borne diseases. We predicted that residents that live in the transboundary region have low perceived knowledge about ticks and tick-borne diseases. We validated a survey and distributed it using the UTRGV Qualtrics platform from October to December 2020. The analysis revealed that 54.80 % reported knowledge, whereas 45.20 % reported no knowledge, which contradicted our prediction. The results revealed that residents of the transboundary region have a high perception of tick-borne diseases, but they lack protection practices to prevent and protect from tick bites to their children and themselves. The implementation of English and Spanish videos, and flyers to prevent tick-borne diseases in the transboundary region of U.S.-Mexico can be beneficial to prevent tick-borne infections.


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