Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2018 Mar 1. pii: S1877-959X(17)30571-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.02.016. [Epub ahead of print]

Widespread distribution of ticks and selected tick-borne pathogens in Kentucky (USA).

Lockwood BH1, Stasiak I2, Pfaff MA1, Cleveland CA1, Yabsley MJ3.
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The geographical distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma maculatum ticks is poorly understood in Kentucky. We conducted a convenience survey of wildlife species (white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), elk (Cervus canadensis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) for ticks from October 2015 to January 2017. We detected four tick species including Amblyomma americanum, Dermacentor albipictus, I. scapularis and A. maculatum. Although the former two tick species were previously known to be widely distributed in Kentucky, we also found that I. scapularis and A. maculatum were also widespread. Because of the limited data available for pathogens from I. scapularis and A. maculatum, we tested them for Borrelia and Rickettsia spp. by polymerase chain reaction assays. Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Rickettsia parkeri were 11% and 3%, respectively. These data indicate that public health measures are important to prevent tick-borne diseases in Kentucky.



The data is going to continue to pour in from all over.  Those in the South have long been pushed aside, denied diagnosis and treatment due to certain ticks or diseases. “not being there.”  Somebody has to be the first case, but if you don’t allow a first case, “it doesn’t exist there.”  It’s like being trapped in a Kafka novel with no way out.

I wish they would test these ticks for more than the one or two pathogens that seem popular these days.  There are approximately 16 diseases that ticks can spread.  Authorities are still bickering about Bartonella being transmitted by ticks; however, the majority of patients I work with all have Bart, making transmission by ticks highly probable. (The number is more like 16 not 6.  It’s probably more than that.)

Borrelia miyamotoi
Bourbon Virus
Colorado Tick Fever
Heartland Virus
Meat Allergy/Alpha Gal
Pacific Coast Tick Fever: Richettsia philipii
Powassan Encephalitis
Q Fever
Rickettsia parkeri Richettsiosis
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
STARI: Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
Rick Paralysis

Then there’s the whole issue of other insects being able to transmit.

We have a lot of work to do and a lot of answers to find.