Archive for the ‘Babesia’ Category

Co-infections in Persons With Early Lyme Disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6433014/#__ffn_sectitle

. 2019 Apr; 25(4): 748–752.
PMCID: PMC6433014
PMID: 30882316

Co-infections in Persons with Early Lyme Disease, New York, USA

Abstract

In certain regions of New York state, USA, Ixodes scapularis ticks can potentially transmit 4 pathogens in addition to Borrelia burgdorferi: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Borrelia miyamotoi, and the deer tick virus subtype of Powassan virus. In a prospective study, we systematically evaluated 52 adult patients with erythema migrans, the most common clinical manifestation of B. burgdorferi infection (Lyme disease), who had not received treatment for Lyme disease. We used serologic testing to evaluate these patients for evidence of co-infection with any of the 4 other tickborne pathogens. Evidence of co-infection was found for B. microti only; 4–6 patients were co-infected with Babesia microti. Nearly 90% of the patients evaluated had no evidence of co-infection. Our finding of B. microti co-infection documents the increasing clinical relevance of this emerging infection.

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**Comment**

Sigh…..where to even begin

rashes-larger-blog-2

  • They used serologic testing. Research has proven this form of testing is abysmal: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/12/direct-diagnostic-tests-for-lyme-the-closest-thing-to-an-apology-you-are-ever-going-to-get/  Key quote: “These serologic tests cannot distinguish active infection, past infection, or reinfection.”In plain English, these tests don’t show squat. While this study in the link was for Lyme testing, I assure you, serologic testing for coinfections is just as abysmal. All of these coinfections are stealthy and persistent. They purposely don’t hang out in the blood & they’ve developed strategies to avoid the immune system as well as treatment.
  • The fact they only found 1 coinfection isn’t a shocker. Some of the sickest patients NEVER test positive because of dysfunctional immune systems. I’m not sure when they are ever going to think of using a provoking agent to stir the pathogens up, kill them, and then get the dead pieces and parts into the blood where this abysmal testing for antibodies can be picked up, but I’m not going to hold my breath. This study seriously makes me want to bang my head against the wall. They’ve learned nothing and continue to do the same exact things.
  • The only thing they got right was the, increasing clinical relevance of this emerging infection,” but I’ve got news for them: this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • They need to get Dr. Breitshwerdt in on these studies and allow him to test the patients for Bartonella using the tests he’s developed.  They also need to use provoking agents and then test, or use direct testing, and to drop the EM rash criteria like a bad habit.

 

 

 

 

 

Eye Problems in Tick-borne Diseases Other Than Lyme

http://danielcameronmd.com/eye-problems-tick-borne-diseases-lyme/

EYE PROBLEMS IN TICK-BORNE DISEASES OTHER THAN LYME

“Why should an ophthalmologist have a good understanding of Lyme diagnosis and treatment?” asks Sathiamoorthi [1], from the Mayo Clinic, in an article published in the Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. “Vision-threatening ophthalmic manifestations are relatively common in Lyme disease (LD) and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.”

by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH

“Knowledge of systemic and ophthalmic manifestations combined with an understanding of the epidemiology of disease vectors is crucial for the diagnosis of tick-borne diseases,” she explains.

While manifestations may be present with LD and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ocular involvement is rare in other tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis, tick-borne relapsing fever, Powassan encephalitis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Colorado tick fever, Sathiamoorthi points out.

However, the true prevalence of ocular involvement due to tick-borne illnesses is unknown. Limitations with testing can make it difficult to identify patients. “It is crucial to know who is appropriate to test in order to avoid false positive results.” If an individual has been symptomatic for only a short period of time, they “may not have detectable serum IgM antibodies to the causative organism because it takes time for this immune response to develop.”

It can also be difficult to determine the cause of the ocular complaints if there is evidence of more than one tick-borne illness.

“One case report [2] describes a patient with optic neuritis and orbital myositis who had serologic evidence of HME [Human Monocytic Ehrlichioisis], Borrelia burgdorferi, and Babesia,” cites Sathiamoorthi.

There are more than one species of ticks associated with ocular findings, as well. According to Sathiamoorthi, those include Ornithodoros genus, Dermacentor variabilis Ambylomma americanum, Ixodes scapularis, and Dermacentor andersonii.

Sathiamoorthi advises doctors to “carefully generate a reasonable differential based on clues in the medical and social history regarding exposures and risks.”

“Patients who are most likely to have ophthalmic Lyme disease,” explains Sathiamoorthi, “are those with ocular manifestations commonly associated with Lyme disease (i.e. Bells palsy, cranial nerve palsies and keratitis); tick exposure in Lyme endemic regions; other signs/symptoms of late Lyme disease (i.e. inflammatory arthritis, carditis, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans rash, encephalopathy and meningitis); and negative syphilis testing.”

Read more on eye problems in tick-borne diseases in “A growing list of eye problems in Lyme disease.”

References:

1. Sathiamoorthi S, Smith WM. The eye and tick-borne disease in the United States. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2016;27(6):530-537.
2. Pendse S, Bilyk JR, Lee MS. The ticking time bomb. Surv Ophthalmol. 2006;51(3):274-279.

 

African Tick Found on Untraveled U.K. Horse

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30876825

2019 Apr;10(3):704-708. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.03.003. Epub 2019 Mar 9.

Hyalomma rufipes on an untraveled horse: Is this the first evidence of Hyalomma nymphs successfully moulting in the United Kingdom?

Abstract

During September 2018, a tick was submitted to Public Health England’s Tick Surveillance Scheme for identification. The tick was sent from a veterinarian who removed it from a horse in Dorset, England, with no history of overseas travel. The tick was identified as a male Hyalomma rufipes using morphological and molecular methods and then tested for a range of tick-borne pathogens including;

  • Alkhurma virus
  • Anaplasma
  • Babesia
  • Bhanja virus
  • Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever virus
  • Rickettsia
  • Theileria

The tick tested positive for Rickettsia aeschlimannii, a spotted fever group rickettsia linked to a number of human cases in Africa and Europe.

This is the first time H. rufipes has been reported in the United Kingdom (UK), and the lack of travel by the horse (or any in-contact horses) suggests that this could also be the first evidence of successful moulting of a Hyalomma nymph in the UK. It is postulated that the tick was imported into the UK on a migratory bird as an engorged nymph which was able to complete its moult to the adult stage and find a host.

This highlights that passive tick surveillance remains an important method for the detection of unusual species that may present a threat to public health in the UK. Horses are important hosts of Hyalomma sp. adults in their native range, therefore, further surveillance studies should be conducted to check horses for ticks in the months following spring bird migration; when imported nymphs may have had time to drop off their avian host and moult to adults. The potential human and animal health risks of such events occurring more regularly are discussed.

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A ProMED-mail post

A tick capable of carrying a host of killer illnesses has been found in the UK for the very 1st time, health officials have revealed.

The _Hyalomma rufipes_ tick – a small blood-sucking arachnid – is usually confined to Africa, Asia and parts of southern Europe. But Public Health England [PHE] has now revealed one of the ticks, 10 times larger than others, was discovered in Dorset last year [2018]. The creature itself wasn’t found to be carrying the deadly Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHF).

The disturbing find, which could ‘present a threat to public health in the UK’, has been documented in the journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases.

A vet at The Barn Equine Surgery in Wimborne removed the tick from a horse last September [2018]. They then sent it to PHE’s tick surveillance team. Writing in the journal, the PHE team said: ‘This is the first time _Hyalomma rufipes_ has been reported in the United Kingdom. ‘The lack of travel by the horse – or any in-contact horses – suggests that this could also be the 1st evidence of successful moulting of a _Hyalomma_ nymph in the UK.’

The team of researchers who found the tick was led by Kayleigh Hansford, of PHE’s medical entomology and zoonoses ecology group.

Writing in the journal, they said it is suspected the tick hitched a ride on a migratory bird before landing in the UK. Neither the infested horse, nor other horses in the stable had travelled anywhere and no further ticks were detected on any of the horses. It is thought the tick travelled on a swallow because they are known to nest in the stables of horses and migrate from Africa to the UK for summer.

The UK climate, known to be getting warmer, is thought to be a major limiting factor for the survival of _Hyalomma rufipes_. However, the unusually warm weather experienced during the summer of 2018 may have been a factor for helping it moult – become an adult.

Currently, the ticks are found in Greece, Northern China, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen and Oman.

The World Health Organization last year [2018] named CCHF as one of 10 pathogens that pose the most ‘urgent’ threat to humanity.

Figures show the virus – most often spread through tick bites – kills around 40% of humans that it strikes. The horrific illness is said to manifest ‘abruptly’, with initial symptoms including fever, backache, headache, dizziness and sore eyes.

[Byline: Stephen Matthews]


Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[Not mentioned in detail in the above report, the PHE team, using morphological and molecular methods, then tested for a range of tick-borne pathogens including: Alkhurma virus, Anaplasma, Babesia, Bhanja virus, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever virus, Rickettsia and Theileria. The tick tested positive for _Rickettsia aeschlimannii_, a spotted fever group rickettsia linked to a number of human cases in Africa and Europe.

The critical question is if this is a single tick transported into Dorset, or represents one tick of a local breeding population. Transportation of a single tick by a migrating bird is a reasonable possibility. Immature (nymph) _Hyalomma_ usually feed on birds, rodents, and hares. Nymphs are often transported from one place to another by migrating birds. For example, a migrating bird carrying a CCH virus-infected _Hyalomma marginatum_ nymph can introduce the virus into new localities and infect humans and domestic livestock (Larry S.Roberts, 2009). Continued surveillance in the area where the single tick was found, as well as generally in the UK over the spring and summer months, would be prudent.

 

Bb & New Strain of Babesia Found in Tick on a Tropical Bird in Canada

Scott et al., 2019, Babesia odocoilei, Bbsl, Amblyomma inornatum, Veery, pdf

Presence of Babesia odocoilei and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto in a Tick and Dual Parasitism of Amblyomma inornatum and Ixodes scapularis on a Bird in Canada

John D. Scott 1,*, Kerry L. Clark 2 and Lance A. Durden 3

* Correspondence: jkscott@bserv.com; Tel.: +1-519-843-3646
Received: 11 February 2019; Accepted: 13 March 2019; Published: 20 March 2019  doi:10.3390/healthcare7010046

Abstract:

Wild birds transport ticks into Canada that harbor a diversity of zoonotic pathogens. However, medical practitioners often question how these zoonotic pathogens are present in their locality. In this study, we provide the first report of an Amblyomma inornatum tick cofeeding with a blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, which parasitized a Veery, Catharus fuscescens—a neotropical songbird. Using the flagellin (flaB) gene of the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and the 18S rRNA gene of the Babesia piroplasm, a malaria-like microorganism, we detected Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Babesia odocoilei, respectively, in an I. scapularis nymph. After the molt, these ticks can bite humans. Furthermore, this is the first documentation of B. odocoilei in a tick parasitizing a bird.

Our findings substantiate the fact that migratory songbirds transport neotropical ticks long distances, and import them into Canada during northward spring migration. Health care practitioners need to be aware that migratory songbirds transport pathogen-laden ticks into Canada annually, and pose an unforeseen health risk to Canadians.

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**Comment**

This study is important because it demonstrates a number of things:

  1. Migrating birds are transporting ticks EVERYWHERE:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/09/danish-study-shows-migrating-birds-are-spreading-ticks-their-pathogens-including-places-without-sustainable-tick-populations/ and it has NOTHING to do with climate change:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/11/07/ticks-on-the-move-due-to-migrating-birds-and-photoperiod-not-climate-change/
  2. Numerous ticks can feed in tandem, spreading multiple pathogens simultaneously:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/05/01/co-infection-of-ticks-the-rule-rather-than-the-exception/
  3. There are many strains of these pathogens that aren’t being considered and tested for. Babesia odocoilei is a prime example but this is happening with each and every pathogen. This demonstrates another reason why patients are ill but test negative.  Normally we think of B. microti, B. divergans, and B. duncani infecting humans  http://www.ncagr.gov/oep/oneMedicine/noms/2010/Moncayo_Abelardo_Human_Babesiosis.pdf but there are others:   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3998201/ In Austria and Italy patients experienced a severe illness caused by EU1, a species closely related to B. odocoilei. InTaiwan it was (TW1) and in Korea (KO1). Human babesiosis is now reported from around the world. The study in this link states that reported human cases of babesiosis have been attributed, without strong molecular evidence to B. divergans: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3020600/
  4. Physicians are not taking into account the polymicrobial (numerous pathogens) aspect of this illness or pleomorphism (shape-shifting). Babesia, unlike malaria is pleomorphic:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/30/study-shows-lyme-msids-patients-infected-with-many-pathogens-and-explains-why-we-are-so-sick/
  5. Without considering these aspects, patients will never be treated properly. The CDC’s antiquated and unscientific 21 days of doxycycline will not fix this. Those who remain with symptoms, whom the CDC calls “PTLDS,” do not include a huge subset of patients that had delays in treatment: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/25/medical-stalemate-what-causes-continuing-symptoms-after-lyme-treatment/
  6. Research has shown that being coinfected with numerous pathogens complicates and worsens cases exponentially:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/06/28/concurrent-babesiosis-and-lyme-in-patient/, and http://www.lymepa.org/c07%20Lyme%20disease%20and%20Babesiosis%20coinfection.pdf             Telling Quote: 
    THE NUMBER OF SYMPTOMS AND DURATION OF ILLNESS IN PATIENTS WITH CONCURRENT LYME DISEASE AND BABESIOSIS ARE GREATER THAN IN PATIENTS WITH EITHER INFECTION ALONE

 

 

New Comprehensive Testing for Vector-borne Disease – Medical Diagnostic Labs

http://www.genesisbiotechgroup.com/press/VectorBornePR_Final_Branded_3.18.2019.pdf

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, L.L.C., Fights Tick- and Mosquito-borne Epidemic with New Comprehensive Testing for Vector-borne Disease.

Hamilton, NJ., March 18, 2019 –Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, L.L.C., (MDL), a Genesis Biotechnology Group® (GBG) company and CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory specializing in high-complexity, state-of-the-art, automated DNA-based molecular analyses, has expanded its testing to include a comprehensive program for the detection of vector-borne diseases.

Unfortunately, new tick- and mosquito-borne diseases continue to emerge, increasing in prevalence year after year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the number of disease cases from mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas has tripled from 2004 to 2016. Ticks and mosquitos that carry bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens continue to increase in number, species, and geographic range. Currently, tick-borne diseases are widely distributed throughout the United States, with major concentrations in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and across the middle of the Midwest and Atlantic states.

To combat this growing medical issue, MDL has renewed their efforts to provide the most comprehensive vector-borne disease test menu. Their multi-phase implementation will offer a comprehensive platform blending direct (molecular testing) and indirect (serological) testing methods. This important information helps providers determine their patients’ exposure risk, the pathogen(s) associated with often-overlapping symptomatology, the most effective antimicrobial treatment for active infections, and appropriate prophylactic treatment for exposure. Phase Two, expected to launch in Q2 2019, will feature tick identification. MDL will also offer immune status testing using flow cytometry to evaluate CD3-/CD8-/CD57+ natural killer cells and other immune markers to help assess treatment response for acute and Post-treatment Lyme disease Syndrome patients.

Testing will detect a variety of pathogens associated with tick-borne disease including:

  • Borrelia species (US and European strains of Lyme disease and Relapsing fever)
  • Rickettsia species (Spotted Fever and Typhus Fever)
  • Ehrlichia species (Ehrlichiosis)
  • Francisella tularensis (Tularemia)
  • Babesia species (Babesiosis)
  • Powassan virus and Bourbon virus
  • Mosquito-borne viruses will include Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, Dengue virus, Japanese Encephalitis virus, and Usutu virus.

This is not the first time that MDL has been on cutting-edge of clinical diagnostic testing for vector-borne disease. In 2001 they were the first lab to identify and report, in peer-reviewed scientific journals, co-infections of Ixodes scapularis (deer tick) with Borrelia burgdorferi and Bartonella henselae. According to Dr. Eli Mordechai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO),

“Our laboratory has always poured resources into vector-borne research by developing and enhancing tests in concert with our national and international clinician clients. We’re committed to leading the way in vector-borne diagnostics and partnering with healthcare providers to offer patients the best care possible”.

About MDL

MDL is a CLIA-certified infectious disease laboratory specializing in high-complexity, state-of-the-art, automated, DNA-based molecular analyses. Using unique molecular techniques, MDL provides clinicians from many specialties valuable information to assist in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of viral, fungal, and bacterial infections. MDL is a member of the Genesis Biotechnology Group located in Hamilton, New Jersey, in “Einstein’s Alley”, the research and technology corridor of New Jersey.

About GBG

GBG is a consortium of vertically-integrated corporate research entities, which facilitates the overall market implementation and delivery of biomedical science products and services related to diagnostics and drug discovery. Through the consolidation of research activities, and the collaboration of diverse groups of scientists with expertise in molecular biology, genetics, high throughput screening (HTS), pharmacology, molecular modeling, and medicinal chemistry, GBG is well-positioned to create and sustain complex research platforms in drug discovery and the design of surrogate biomarkers for chronic diseases.

To find out more, please visit www.mdlab.com.

Scott Gygax, Ph.D. sgygax@mdlab.com609.570.LYMEwww.mdlab.com

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More on testing:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/12/lyme-testing-problems-solutions/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/01/16/2-tier-lyme-testing-missed-85-7-of-patients-milford-hospital/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/12/direct-diagnostic-tests-for-lyme-the-closest-thing-to-an-apology-you-are-ever-going-to-get/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/08/ny-grants-approval-of-igenexs-lyme-immunoblot-tests/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/17/igenex-introduces-3-new-lyme-tests/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/12/paving-the-way-for-better-lyme-diagnostic-tests/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/12/07/igenex-presentation/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/12/13/suppression-of-microscopy-for-lyme-diagnostics-professor-laane/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/27/spirochete-culture-microscopy-videos-see-whats-inside-you/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/29/microscopy-of-spirochaete-biofilm/

 

Human Tick-Borne Diseases in Australia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6360175/

Published online 2019 Jan 28. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00003
PMCID: PMC6360175
PMID: 30746341

Human Tick-Borne Diseases in Australia

Abstract

There are 17 human-biting ticks known in Australia. The bites of Ixodes holocyclus, Ornithodoros capensis, and Ornithodoros gurneyi can cause paralysis, inflammation, and severe local and systemic reactions in humans, respectively. Six ticks, including Amblyomma triguttatum, Bothriocroton hydrosauri, Haemaphysalis novaeguineae, Ixodes cornuatus, Ixodes holocyclus, and Ixodes tasmani may transmit Coxiella burnetii, Rickettsia australis, Rickettsia honei, or Rickettsia honei subsp. marmionii. These bacterial pathogens cause Q fever, Queensland tick typhus (QTT), Flinders Island spotted fever (FISF), and Australian spotted fever (ASF). It is also believed that babesiosis can be transmitted by ticks to humans in Australia.

In addition, Argas robertsi, Haemaphysalis bancrofti, Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes hirsti, Rhipicephalus australis, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks may play active roles in transmission of other pathogens that already exist or could potentially be introduced into Australia. These pathogens include Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., Burkholderia spp., Francisella spp., Dera Ghazi Khan virus (DGKV), tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), Lake Clarendon virus (LCV), Saumarez Reef virus (SREV), Upolu virus (UPOV), or Vinegar Hill virus (VINHV).

It is important to regularly update clinicians’ knowledge about tick-borne infections because these bacteria and arboviruses are pathogens of humans that may cause fatal illness. An increase in the incidence of tick-borne infections of human may be observed in the future due to changes in demography, climate change, and increase in travel and shipments and even migratory patterns of birds or other animals. Moreover, the geographical conditions of Australia are favorable for many exotic ticks, which may become endemic to Australia given an opportunity. There are some human pathogens, such as Rickettsia conorii and Rickettsia rickettsii that are not currently present in Australia, but can be transmitted by some human-biting ticks found in Australia, such as Rhipicephalus sanguineus, if they enter and establish in this country.

Despite these threats, our knowledge of Australian ticks and tick-borne diseases is in its infancy.

**Comment**

I appreciate the way the researchers wrote about the possibility of infection even though there are not recorded cases yet.  This open-mindedness is imperative if we are to move forward. Gone are the days where tick-borne illness is presented as if the information were akin to the 10 commandments.

Tick-borne illness has become a true pandemic and is found virtually everywhere.

While Lyme is not mentioned (please note further down that autopsy results showed Lyme all over a man from Sydney) the following infections are on record:

  • Q fever
  • Queensland tick typhus (QTT)
  • Flinders Island spotted fever (FISF)
  • Australian spotted fever (ASF)
  • Babesiosis
  • Anaplasma spp.
  • Bartonella spp.
  • Burkholderia spp.
  • Francisella spp. (Tularemia)
  • Dera Ghazi Khan virus (DGKV)
  • tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV)
  • Lake Clarendon virus (LCV)
  • Saumarez Reef virus (SREV)
  • Upolu virus (UPOV)
  • Vinegar Hill virus (VINHV)

I would say that is quite enough to make our Aussie friends quite sick.

For more on TBI’s in Australia:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/21/our-battle-ongoing-lyme-disease-in-australia/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/11/03/ld-not-in-australia-here-we-go-again/

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.

 https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/18/study-finds-q-fever-rickettsia-typhus-in-australian-ticks-and-people/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/14/python-covered-with-more-than-500-ticks-rescued-in-australia/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/23/australian-lyme-disease-research-pilot-funded/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/09/19/tbis-in-australia/

 

 

Mild Winter Days? Watch Out for Ticks

Winter thaws bring out the ticks. Take precautions when heading outdoors on warm winter days to avoid tick bites. Wearing light-colored clothing and tucking pantlegs into socks can help. Credit: Pavla Zakova | Dreamstime.com

We asked disease ecologist Rick Ostfeld if we need to worry about ticks during the winter. His response is below. (TL; DR = yes)

Blacklegged ticks, which transmit the agents of Lyme disease, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis, disappear in winter, right? Well, not entirely. Although human encounters with these ticks are less likely in winter, there are plenty of ticks out in the environment lurking in a state of (almost) suspended animation.

Larval ticks that hatched the prior summer but failed to find an animal host can become dormant and remain on the forest floor in a quiescent state. The same is true of nymphal ticks, which are normally most active in spring and early summer. These two stages are unlikely to activate until day-length and temperature both increase dramatically. Adult stage ticks, in contrast, most actively seek hosts in the late fall.

The females that were able to engorge on host blood last fall are overwintering in soil pores or under leaf litter, while slowly converting host blood into eggs that they will lay next spring or summer. Some of the adults that did not find a host have died of starvation or other causes, but the unfed survivors will activate any winter or spring day with above-freezing temperatures. In the southern United States, these ticks can be active all year, but even in the northeastern and upper Midwestern regions, ticks can bite during any warmish spell in January, February, and beyond.

As part of The Tick Project, we invite participating households to mail us ticks found embedded in or crawling on people or pets, and we typically receive quite a few even in the coldest months. The riskiest seasons for diseases transmitted by blacklegged ticks are spring and summer, but risk never goes away entirely. And, our 25-years of data from Dutchess County, NY show that, as the climate warms, the ticks come out earlier in the year, advancing the dates of greatest risk.

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For More:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/01/20/polar-vorticks/   TICK GUY, TOM MATHER, SHOWS HOW TICKS SURVIVE IN 3 DEGREES OVERNIGHT UNDER SNOW COVER.

And regarding all the clamor of “climate change,” independent Canadian tick researcher John Scott has proven it has absolutely nothing to do with tick proliferation and therefore the spread of Lyme/MSIDS:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/11/07/ticks-on-the-move-due-to-migrating-birds-and-photoperiod-not-climate-change/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/13/study-shows-lyme-not-propelled-by-climate-change/  Warm winters are lethal to I. scapularis (black-legged) ticks.  In fact, overwinter survival dropped to 33% when the snow melted.

So…..when people push the idea that warmer winters somehow make ticks more abundant you can explain with science on your side that –

Warmer winters actually kill ticks