Ixodes holocyclus Tick-Transmitted Human Pathogens in North-Eastern New South Wales, Australia.
A group of 14 persons who live in an area of Australia endemic for the Australian paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus, and who were involved in regularly collecting and handling these ticks, was examined for antibodies to tick-transmitted bacterial pathogens.
Five (36%) had antibodies to Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever and three (21%) had antibodies to spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae (Rickettsia spp). None had antibodies to Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Orientia, or Borrelia (Lymedisease) suggesting that they had not been exposed to these bacteria.
A total of 149 I. holocyclus ticks were examined for the citrate synthase (gltA) gene of the SFG rickettsiae and the com1 gene of C. burnetii; 23 (15.4%) ticks were positive for Rickettsia spp. and 8 (5.6%) positive for Coxiella spp. Sequencing of fragments of the gltA gene and the 17 kDa antigen gene from a selection of the ticks showed 99% and 100% homology, respectively, to Rickettsia australis, the bacterium causing Queensland tick typhus.
Thus, it appears that persons bitten by I. holocyclus in NE NSW, Australia have an approximate one in six risk of being infected with R. australis. Risks of Q fever were also high in this region but this may have been due to exposure by aerosol from the environment rather than by tick bite. A subset of 74 I. holocyclus ticks were further examined for DNA from Borrelia spp., Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. but none was positive. Some of these recognised human bacterial pathogens associated with ticks may not be present in this Australian tick species from northeastern New South Wales.
Folks in Australia have been fighting the denial of authorities for decades regarding Lyme Disease: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/21/our-battle-ongoing-lyme-disease-in-australia/
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/03/aussie-widow-of-lyme-disease-victim-to-sue-nsw-health/ A SYDNEY woman launches a class action against NSW Health after autopsy results showed her husband was riddled with Lyme in his liver, heart, kidney, and lungs. He was only 44 years old and was bitten by a tick while filming a TV show in Sydney.
Now how in the world did that happen?
While they still deny Lyme (borrelia) this recent study definitively shows a number of pathogens in Australian ticks and humans including Rickettsia (more commonly known as Tick & arthropod Typhus, Queensland typhus or Rickettsia australis), as well as Q Fever.
Tick Typhus is similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but deemed not as severe. Symptoms include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Red lump at tick bite site
- Ulceration at tick bite site
- Black scab at tick bite site
- Enlarged local lymph nodes
- Forearm red rash
- Red body rash
- Palm rash
- Rash on soles of feet
Doxycycline is the front-line drug for typhus and broad-spectrum antibiotics aren’t helpful.
Fact sheet on typhus: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/typhus.PDF The perps are typically lice, fleas, mites, and ticks.
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/19/monster-ticks-found-in-germany-threaten-europe-with-deadly-disease-crimean-congo-fever/ In this article, they found a tropical form of tick typhus in tropical ticks found in Germany. Typhus is making a comeback, particularly in the southern U.S. Migrating birds are transporting ticks as well as the diseases they carry worldwide
Fact sheet on Q Fever: http://www.stopticks.org/ticks/qfever.asp
Caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii, it can cause pneumonia and hepatitis (liver inflammation) in its early stage, and infection of the heart valves (endocarditis) in its chronic stage. Perps are the Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguine us), Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americium).
https://coloradoticks.org/tick-borne-diseases/q-fever/ This article states it’s usually a mild disease with flu-like symptoms but sometimes it can resurface years later. This more deadly, chronic form, of Q fever can damage heart, liver, brain and lungs. C. burnetii is highly infectious. Humans that are susceptible to this disease can be infected by a single organism. It is considered a significant threat for bio warfare and is classified as a Category B agent of bioterrorism.
The severity and combination of signs and symptoms vary greatly. About half the people infected with Q fever will get sick. Symptoms include:
- High fever (up to 105°F)
- Severe headache
- General malaise
- Chills or sweats
- Non-productive cough
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
Doxycycline is also the front-line drug for this with quinolone antibiotics as an alternative.
Add the Ixodes holocyclus tick to this list as well.
And before you think it can only ever be in Australia, this article in the 2013 issue of the Australian Veterinary Journal shows the likelihood of a population of Ixodes holocyclus breeding outside their common range. https://conference.ava.com.au/13097.
Well there goes the neighborhood.
Here’s a nifty chart: https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/co-infections/other-co-infections/ (Please remember this is constantly changing)
If there’s one think I know for sure, it’s that nothing about ticks and the diseases they carry is sure.
They are finding tropical ticks in Germany (where they shouldn’t be) https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/19/monster-ticks-found-in-germany-threaten-europe-with-deadly-disease-crimean-congo-fever/ and they are finding Asian ticks in the U.S. (where they shouldn’t be) https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/03/1st-person-bitten-by-east-asian-longhorned-tick/.
When is the CDC going to get the memo and scrap the tick maps?