2019 Dec 14:101359. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.101359. [Epub ahead of print]

Vector competence studies with hard ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes: A review.


Use of emerging technology allowing for identification of genetic material from pathogens and endosymbionts in ticks collected from humans, domestic animals, wildlife, or the environment has resulted in an avalanche of new data on tick-microorganism associations. This rapidly growing stream of new information is a tremendous resource but also presents challenges, including how detection of pathogen genetic material in ticks should best be interpreted. There is a tendency in the more recent published literature to incorrectly use the term “vector” based on detection of pathogen genetic material from tick species not experimentally confirmed to serve as vectors of the pathogen in question.

To serve as a vector of a horizontally maintained pathogen, such as a Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) Lyme borreliosis spirochete, the tick species in question must be capable of acquiring the pathogen while feeding in the larval or nymphal stage on an infectious host, maintaining it transstadially through the molt, and then transmitting the pathogen to a naïve host while feeding in the subsequent nymphal or adult stage.

This review examines the experimental evidence for and against species of hard (ixodid) ticks from different genera to serve as vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes.

  • Of the 18 Ixodes species ticks evaluated to date, 13 were experimentally confirmed as vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes.
  • These studies focused primarily on the three major Lyme borreliosis agents: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia garinii.
  • In striking contrast, none of 8 tick species from other genera (1 Amblyomma species, 5 Dermacentor species, and 2 Haemaphysalis species) evaluated to date were unequivocally experimentally confirmed as vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes.

The strength of the evidence for or against each tick species to serve as a vector of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes is discussed together with key knowledge gaps and research challenges.



This author, a CDC employee, is basing his findings on previous research.  There’s nothing new here.  

Also of import is the fact borrelia has been found in other ticks – just not enough for to be “statistically” important, OR in the instance of the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) there has been hot debate as to whether STARI is Lyme or not.  Patients and advocates alike claim the symptoms are one in the same.  The debate continues.

The trouble is, what if you are the poor sucker that gets bitten by that “statistically” insignificant tick?  Well, you lose because mainstream doctors are going to skim this review and conclude that ONLY certain ticks transmit Lyme/borrelia. They are going to write you off as psychosomatic:

Important excerpt:

Yes, vector competence was confirmed experimentally; No, vector competence was evaluated experimentally but could not be confirmed; Blank space, tick species not yet evaluated for this B. burgdorferi s.l. species.

There were numerous places where competence couldn’t be confirmed (which is a far cry different from it can’t happen) as well as the fact there were tons of blank spaces – which means the tick species hasn’t even been evaluated yet.

Here’s the dealeo, all ticks transfer fluid.  ALL TICKS should be suspect.  Period.  Remember all the research I’ve posted stating Lyme “didn’t exist” in various geographical places until someone pushed hard enough to get it recognized:


According to Dr. Naveen Patil, Director of the Infectious Disease Program, ADH,

“We don’t have Lyme Disease in Arkansas, we have the ticks that transmit Lyme Disease but we don’t have any recorded cases of Lyme Disease.” 

We can thank a mother from Arkansas for getting Arkansas on the map for Lyme disease.

And so it goes:

Tick research is similar in that until something gets documented (published), researchers and doctors alike treat it as if it’s never, ever happened, and therefore (circular reasoning) it won’t happen in the future.

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