Dr. Pritt is currently the Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory in Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Pritt has coordinated the development of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for multiple tick and mosquito-borne pathogens such as Plasmodium knowlesi, Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia miyamotoi, Powassan virus and chikungunya virus. She has also developed a multiplex PCR assay for the major human pathogenic microsporidia species that cause diarrhea and disseminated infections. Most recently, Dr. Pritt has directed multiple research efforts to characterize two novel tick-borne pathogens that infect humans in the upper midwest region of the United States.
Dr. Pritt’s work has resulted in the implementation of rapid and highly sensitive molecular tests for important human infections, including malaria, microsporidiosis, Lyme disease and Borrelia miyamotoi infection. Malaria, in particular, is a potentially fatal disease and a leading cause of infant mortality worldwide. In the U.S., malaria is most commonly seen in individuals who have traveled to or emigrated from endemic areas such as parts of Africa, Asia and South America.
Dr. Pritt also played a key role in discovering and describing two new tick-borne pathogens. In 2011, she described an Ehrlichia muris–like bacterium, and in 2016, she described a novel Borrelia species (Candidatus Borrelia mayonii), which causes Lyme disease. Both pathogens appear to be limited to the upper midwest region of the United States.
Dr. Pritt serves as an international member on the Scientific Advisory Committee.