Archive for the ‘Borrelia Miyamotoi (Relapsing Fever Group)’ Category

Lyme-Carrying Ticks in West Differ From Their Eastern Cousins

LYME SCI: Lyme-carrying ticks in West differ from their Eastern cousins

March 21, 2022

By Lonnie Marcum

In most of the United States, a tick called Ixodes scapularis carries Lyme disease. However, in the Western states, there’s a different culprit—Ixodes pacificus—also known as the Western blacklegged tick.

A recent review article provides new insight into the pathogens carried by and diseases caused by Ixodes pacificus. The behavior, habitat and pathogens transmitted by the Western blacklegged tick differ from its Eastern cousin.

Notably, the authors state, ”I. pacificus carry several pathogens of human significance, such as Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella, and Rickettsiales.” (McVicar et al, 2022)

The authors, from the University of Nevada, published their report in a special issue of journal Pathogens. The article is entitled “Current Research on Hard Tick-Borne Diseases.”

The reviewers do a fantastic job of describing the ecological diversity and complex nature of ticks found in the Western US.

In fact, there are up to 20 different species of Ixodes (hard bodied) ticks reported in California alone. However, Ixodes pacificus is the only known vector for Lyme disease along the West Coast.

The additional hard tick species endemic to the West include Ixodes spinipalpis, I. angustus, I. neotomae, and I. jellisoni. Although these ticks prefer to feed on rodents, both I. spinipalpis and I. agustus occasionally bite humans.


As pictured below, the Western blacklegged tick is well established throughout most of California, the coastal regions of Oregon and Washington, and parts of southern Nevada, northern Arizona and western Utah.

Note: Counties classified as “established” are those where six or more I. pacificus of a single life stage or more than one life stage of the tick were collected in the county within any 12-month period.

The ideal habitat for I. pacificus is one that is sheltered from hot, dry summers. Research has shown nymphal I. pacificus numbers start to decline when temperatures exceed 73º F (23º C), and average daily humidity drops below 83 – 85%. Excessive heat between 90º – 104º F (32º – 40º C) begins to kill off ticks.

The preferred microclimate includes moist, shady areas provided by trees, shrubs, leaf litter or undergrowth. I. pacificus are often found amongst dense oak woodlands, but they can also be found near beaches, and on rocks and picnic tables.

The full range of the Western blacklegged tick extends from Baja California, Mexico, to British Columbia, Canada, but not all of those areas have been thoroughly studied. The process of “active tick surveillance” is quite labor-intensive, and requires funding often not provided to vector-control districts.

Another method of tracking ticks can be done by citizens finding and reporting ticks themselves. This “passive surveillance” technique, as the authors point out, can sometimes give a broader picture from counties that do not conduct active surveillance.

Ticks found where previously undetected

For example, a Northern Arizona University study funded by Bay Area Lyme Disease Foundation received over16,000 ticks from 49 states between 2016-2017. In that study, blacklegged ticks were found in 83 counties (in 24 states) where they had not previously been recorded. (Nieto et al, 2018)

Another recent study looked at crowdsourced images submitted to “TickSpotters” between 2014-2019.  The tick image submissions identified potentially nine new counties of occurrence for I. pacificus across five states including: Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Idaho. (Kopsco et al, 2021)


The lifecycle of Ixodes pacificus ticks generally lasts three years, compared to the I. scapularis which has a two-year life span. During this time, they go through four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.

After the eggs hatch, the ticks must have a blood meal at every stage to survive.

Blacklegged ticks can feed on mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The ticks need a new host at each stage of their life. If the host is infected with a pathogen, any tick feeding on that animal will become infected as well.

Although rare, larval ticks may be infectious from birth as some tick-borne pathogens may be transmitted from the female tick to her eggs. This is called transovarial transmission.


The paper lists the pathogens and reservoir hosts associated with I. pacificus, accompanied by countless references. For those interested in full details, I recommend reading the review. This table recaps the authors’ second table, followed by a short recap of their findings. (McVicar et al, 2022)


Anaplasmosis, also known as human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), is caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacterium (previously known as Ehrlichia phagocytophila or Ehrlichia equi).

It belongs to a larger group of bacteria known as Rickettsia, which infect white blood cells. I. pacificus is a vector for anaplasmosis in the western US. The infection rate of nymphal and adult I. pacificus ticks is 1% and 10% respectively.


Babesiosis is a disease caused by a malaria-like parasite called Babesia, which infects red blood cells.

As I recently wrote, North America is “ground zero” for Babesiosis, a disease that can be passed from mother to unborn child and through blood transfusions.

On the East Coast, I. scapularis is the vector for babesiosis. On the West Coast, I. pacificus is the predicted vector for babesiosis, but researchers have been unable to confirm this.

One study that collected ticks from multiple sites in California found 3% of I. pacificus ticks were infected with Babesia odocoilei. This is an emerging pathogen not listed on the CDC website as a cause of babesiosis.

The authors state, “Although there is substantive evidence that ixodid ticks on the west coast (i.e., Ixodes angustus, Ixodes pacificus, and Ixodes spinipalpis) are vectors of B. duncani, this has not been yet experimentally confirmed.”  (McVicar et al, 2022)


Bartonella is a bacterium carried by many types of human-biting arthropods including fleas, flies, lice, ticks, and chiggers. In one California study, 19% of ticks tested positive for Bartonella.

“Molecular analysis showed a variety of Bartonella strains, which were closely related to cattle Bartonella and several known human-pathogenic Bartonella species and subspecies: B. henselae, B. quintana, B. washoensis, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, suggesting that I. pacificus adults could be a source for Bartonella infections in humans,” as stated by the authors. (McVicar et al, 2022)


Ehrlichiosis is a term that describes several different bacterial diseases caused by a group of intracellular bacteria called Ehrlichia. These pathogens cause two groups of human infections, called human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE.)

While the pathogens that cause HME and HGE are different, the symptoms of the disease are similar. Left untreated, both HME and HGE can be life-threatening.

I. pacificus ticks can carry both diseases. The average infection rate of HME and HGE in California’s I. pacificus ticks is 3.4% and 2.0% respectively.

Lyme disease

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), a spirochete, causes Lyme disease in North America. The CDC estimates that 476,000 people contract Lyme every year in the US. That’s nearly 5 million cases in the past 10 years, making it the most important vector-borne disease in the nation.

There has been a great deal of research on Lyme disease in California, beginning with the pioneering work of Willy Burgdorfer, Bob Lane and Alan Barbour in the early 1980s.

On the west coast, in addition to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), there are four additional Borrelia species within the B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex. These include B. americana, B. bissettiae, B. californensis, and B. laneithe latter named after Bob Lane for his discovery.  However, B. burgdorferi s.s. is currently the only one of these recognized as causing Lyme disease.

Compare this to the eastern half of the country, with B. burgdorferi s.s. also causing Lyme disease, and only three additional species in the B. burgdorferi s.l complex: B. andersonii, B. kurtenbachii, and B. mayonii. (B. mayonii is also recognized as causing Lyme disease.)

Hard ticks can also carry one species of relapsing fever Borrelia—Borrelia miyamotoi. All other species of relapsing fever borreliosis are believed to be carried by soft ticks.

Several studies in and around the San Francisco Bay Area  have shown that the average infection rate of B. miyamotoi (5.1%) in I. pacificus ticks is higher than the rate of B. burgdorferi (1.3%). Although, depending on the location, infection rates for B. miyamotoi and B. burgdorferi can be as high as 17% and 6% respectively.


Co-infection with multiple pathogens is possible in animal hosts and ticks. Thus, a single tick bite can infect a human with more than one pathogen.

One study found that 14% of grey squirrels, a common host to I. pacificus ticks, were co-infected with B. burgdorferi and Anaplasma. Another study from Washington state found I. pacificus ticks co-infected with B. burgdorferi, B. miyamotoi. and Anaplasma.

In a more recent study, researchers tested ticks for up to five pathogens. In one area of California, infection rates were as high as 31%. (Salkeld et al, 2021)

While Lyme disease accounts for over 80% of all tick-borne cases in the U.S., spotted fever rickettsiosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis have also seen an increase over the past four decades.

It’s important for researchers and clinicians to know which pathogens co-exist in all regions of the U.S., including the West coast.


As climate changes, tick ecology changes. The authors recommend, “To fully understand these systems, interdisciplinary teams with expertise in tick biology, tick genetics and genomics, computational biology, geography, meteorology, veterinary and human health, as well as vector-control districts and public health, need to work together.”  (McVicar et al, 2022)

A great deal of work has been carried out on ticks in California. However, surveillance and ecological research is lacking in the other Western states.

LymeSci is written by Lonnie Marcum, a Licensed Physical Therapist and mother of a daughter with Lyme. She serves on a subcommittee of the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. Follow her on Twitter: @LonnieRhea  Email her at:


Kopsco H,  Duhaime R, Mather T, (2021) Crowdsourced Tick Image-Informed Updates to U.S. County Records of Three Medically Important Tick Species, Journal of Medical Entomology.  58:6; 2412–2424,

McVicar M, Rivera I, Reyes JB, Gulia-Nuss M. (2022) Ecology of Ixodes pacificus Ticks and Associated Pathogens in the Western United States. Pathogens. 2022 Jan 13;11(1):89. doi: 10.3390/pathogens11010089. PMID: 35056037; PMCID: PMC8780575.

Nieto NC, Porter WT, Wachara JC, Lowrey TJ, Martin L, Motyka PJ, et al. (2018) Using citizen science to describe the prevalence and distribution of tick bite and exposure to tick-borne diseases in the United States. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0199644.

Salkeld D.J., Lagana D.M., Wachara J., Porter W.T., Nieto N.C. (2021) Examining prevalence and diversity of tick-borne pathogens in questing Ixodes pacificus ticks in California. Appl Environ Microbiol. Apr23:00319-21. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00319-21. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33893109.


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There’s an important link with the accepted narrative about”climate change” and the current COVID debacle.  If you are unaware of this connection, please take the time to go down a dark rabbit-hole that connects the dots. This news story reports on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ESG score, (environment, social, and corporate governance) which is similar to a credit score and is centered around sustainability & ethics.  Currently given only to corporations, it isn’t a stretch to imagine this extended to individuals. Like everything else, the system is subjective to whomever decides what “ethical, diverse, and sustainable” is.  The scores can change on a whim. Companies are changing slogans, censoring content, firing controversial people, and modifying behavior to ingratiate themselves to those in power. This system is already being used in China.

In this recent article, we learn about the WHO’s “pandemic treaty” which would yet further erode individual and medical freedom under the guise of pandemic preparedness and control.  Keep in mind the WHO already changed the definition of what a pandemic is that essentially allows them to proclaim any disease they deem a threat a ‘pandemic,’ despite the fact it doesn’t cause mass casualties.

You may ask what this has to do with climate change.  Everything.
The climate change moniker is a ruse for a huge power grab in terms in money and control.

While the world was distracted by Will Smith, the internal elite met at the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai where World Economic Forum (WEF) head Klaus Schwab and ilk spoke of a “longer-term narrative” to make the world “more resilient, more inclusive, and more sustainable.”

The WGS spent considerable time discussing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which form the core of the Agenda 2030, (formerly Agenda 21) itself part of The Great Reset agenda, as well as topics like Blockchain, AI, 6G, and Human Meta-Cities, a rebranding of the so-called Smart Cities.

Go here for a wonderful explanation of Agenda 2030.

Within the video you learn that Agenda 2030 is about inventory & control of all resources of the world:
food, water, energy, land, production, education, construction, yes, even people. The plan will clear out rural areas and relocate people to large cities where people will be tightly controlled, monitored, and managed with intrusive technology.  It will enforce Communitarianism – ruled by governments and companies: where the needs of the community trump individual rights and freedoms (which we are already seeing with COVID).  Dissidents will be outcasts – which we’ve also already experienced with COVID injection apartheid.

No less than 14 out of 17 sustainable development goals SDGs include vaccination or immunization.
What does vaccination have to do with green economies?

Schwab’s “the 4th Industrial Revolution,” is the “digital panopticon of the future, where digital surveillance is omnipresent and humanity uses digital technology to alter our lives. Often associated with terms like the Internet of Things, the Internet of Bodies, the Internet of Humans, and the Internet of Senses, this world will be powered by 5G and 6G technology.”  (Please note many believe this technology is dangerous to the human body and remains untested for adverse effects)

The truly frightening discussion was titled: The Invisible Government: Eliminating Bureaucracy Through Technology: “What goes unsaid in the panel description is that making the government “invisible” will actually lead to a world of no accountability for government and politicians. In reality, the Technocrats imagine a world where the tyrannical technological systems are invisible and the average person has zero recourse for preventing exclusion or punishment based on their social credit score.”

While few argue that the climate changes, as it always has since the beginning of time, many climate experts defy the accepted narrative and state political games are being played to create policy. Further, according to Pat Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, it has warmed up around 1 degree Celsius since 1900, and life expectancy has doubled. Climatologists have also debunked that “global warming” is making storms worse and that carbon dioxide is harmful.

What is very real; however, is the concerted effort to engineer the earth’s climate.  Dane Wigington states “geoengineering must be considered weather and biological warfare due to the endless list of catastrophic downstream impacts and effects.”  He also states: “That massive covert government programs have been playing “God” with the biosphere for well over 60 years, perhaps even longer. In recent years the scope and scale of these devastating weather modification programs has been ramped up so much that the entire climate system and biosphere is now hanging in the balance.”


Polymer nanofibers are a component of these operations. The science community has now confirmed that microplastics have been found in human blood and farm animals. These puzzle pieces are not hard to connect for any that conduct objective investigation. New studies now also confirm that plastic pollution could “make much of humanity infertile”. How well would this serve the objectives of those in power? Engineered winter weather and temperature whiplash scenarios are continuing wherever and whenever the climate engineers have compatible conditions for carrying out the highly toxic chemical ice nucleation cloud seeding operations. In the meantime the weather makers are relentlessly cutting off the flow of rain from the Western US. Crop production is being crushed while the stage is being set for yet another summer of record wildfires. What will it take for a greater percentage of the population to look up and connect the dots?”  source  Video Here

The Dimming

Full Length Climate Engineering Documentary

Borrelia Miyamotoi Found in 3-5% of New England Blood Samples = Tens of Thousands Possibly Infected

Another tick bacteria turns up in New England blood samples

Human blood samples from across New England show evidence of Borrelia miyamotoi, a relative of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

The findings add important new details to understanding the bacteria species, Borrelia miyamotoi, which was only recently found to infect humans. The tiny species is transmitted by the same deer ticks that carry the Lyme disease pathogen, and can cause meningoencephalitis and relapsing fevers.

“We thought that Borrelia miyamotoi, because it was so recently discovered, would have been more locally confined,” says Peter Krause, senior research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health and senior author of the study. “To our surprise, it was found at all our testing sites throughout New England.”

Krause and Durland Fish, professor emeritus of epidemiology (microbial diseases), were part of a team of researchers who first discovered Borrelia miyamotoi’s ability to infect humans in 2011. Graduate student researcher Demerise Johnston is first author of the new study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

By testing more than 1,100 blood samples gathered from states across New England in 2018, the team of researchers discovered that almost 3% of the study subjects showed evidence of an immune response (antibody) to Borrelia miyamotoi, with some collection sites demonstrating as much as 5%. These samples were so geographically dispersed in New England that the researchers were unable to determine whether the origin of the infection was southeastern New England, as is the case for Lyme disease and babesiosis, another tick-borne infection.

The proportion of samples containing Borrelia miyamotoi antibody was low compared to that of Lyme disease pathogen, which reached more than 15% in some areas. But Krause says the level of Borrelia miyamotoi antibodies found in the samples indicates that physicians should keep an eye out for the bacteria in patients who present with Lyme disease-like symptoms.

“We’re talking about the possibility of tens of thousands of New England residents becoming infected with Borrelia miyamotoi based on what we found,” he says. “I think it’s important for people to realize that this disease is out there.”

For the study, the researchers also looked into the prevalence of another microorganism, Babesia microti, in their samples. That species is the primary cause of human babesiosis, and it can be spread through ticks just like the other two. Their analysis suggested that around 10% of the samples showed evidence of antibodies against this pathogen. These infections can be transmitted at the same time and coinfection is possible.

“Still, Lyme predominates, but the gap is not as great as is assumed,” Krause says. “There’s more Babesia infections than people realize. Physicians working in areas where babesiosis occurs should be aware of the disease and test for it when patients have consistent symptoms.”

Borrelia miyamotoi disease is much less frequent than those for the microbial species that cause Lyme disease and babesiosis. Krause says there are dependable treatment strategies that can cure individuals who have Borrelia miyamotoi infection. Those strategies involve essentially the same antibiotic treatments that treat Lyme disease. He and his colleagues say in the study that tracking the geographic spread of the species could help health care workers be on alert for potential transmission through ticks and possibly through blood transfusions, although additional studies are needed to confirm that this could happen.

Coauthors are from the Laboratory of Emerging Pathogens at the US Food and Drug Administration and L2 Diagnostics in New Haven, Connecticut.

Source: Matt Kristofferson for Yale University

Cats & Cars Helping Scientists Study Lyme Disease

Cats and cars help scientists study Lyme disease

28 Jan 2022
Study from Mount Allison University researchers uses citizen science to find a new source of Lyme disease bacteria in New Brunswick mice

SACKVILLE, NB – A new study from Mount Allison University, aided by cats and cat owners, is shedding light on a new source of Lyme disease bacteria in the Maritimes and how the Lyme disease pathogen in transmitted in wildlife.

Mount Allison University biology professor Dr. Vett Lloyd and graduate student Chris Zinck recently published a paper, Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia miyamotoi in Atlantic Canadian wildlife, in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

Lloyd and Zinck partnered with local veterinarians and cat owners to collect wildlife specimens and study them for zoonotic diseases – diseases such as Lyme disease that are transmitted from wildlife to humans. In this latest study, Lloyd, who heads Mount Allison’s Tick Lab, and Zinck have found a new wildlife species, the jumping mouse, that can carry Lyme disease in New Brunswick. The pair also discovered that one of the types of Lyme disease bacteria can be transmitted through the placenta to the young in that mouse species.

“We know that Lyme disease is abundant in New Brunswick wildlife,” says Lloyd. “But we didn’t know how abundant it was in wild animals in the province and these findings raise more concerns about the potential risks of Lyme disease in our region.”

To collect wildlife specimens, researchers used a Citizen Science approach, enlisting the assistance local cats and motorists in providing a large number of mice, voles, shrews, squirrels, porcupines, and other animals, to study.

Lloyd came up with the community-based approach at her home with her cat Entropy, a calico who hunts with surgical precision.

“As I looked at yet another one of Entropy’s ‘gifts’ on the front step, I wondered if there was a way for these little lives to contribute to science,” says Lloyd. “I had the same thought on my drive into work along the TransCanada highway each day, seeing animals on the side of the road.”
Zinck, who completed both his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Mount Allison and is currently completing his PhD at the University of Saskatchewan, also hit the road in the name of science. With a safety vest and permits in tow, he collected and dissected several hundred accidentally killed wild animals, finding both the known Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and a different kind, Borrelia miyamotoi, in specimens.

“This work is important for the health of people and their pets as Borrelia miyamotoi infection would not be detected by the standard Lyme disease tests,” says Lloyd. “Even more surprisingly, we found that an infected jumping mouse mother had passed the infection on to her fetuses. This has implications for the health of wildlife and although few people would worry too much about the health of wild mice, it does have implications for a rapid increase in infected mice and the possibility that an infected human mother could pass on the infection to her child.”

Lloyd and Zinck hope that this work will help people realize how closely people and wildlife are connected and that the community can participate in advancing science.

The article, published on Jan. 22, is available to the public on journal’s website: PLOS ONE

Study: Borrelia miyamotoi in Human-Biting Ticks Found in 19 States

Volume 27, Number 12—December 2021
Research Letter

Borrelia miyamotoi in Human-Biting Ticks, United States, 2013–2019

Guang XuComments to Author , Chu-Yuan Luo, Fumiko Ribbe, Patrick Pearson, Michel Ledizet, and Stephen M. Rich
Author affiliations: University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts USA (G. Xu, C.-Y. Luo, F. Ribbe, P. Pearson, S.M. Rich); L2 Diagnostics, New Haven, Connecticut, USA (M. Ledizet)


During 2013–2019, Borrelia miyamotoi infection was detected in 19 US states. Infection rate was 0.5%–3.2%; of B. miyamotoi–positive ticks, 59.09% had concurrent infections. B. miyamotoi is homogeneous with 1 genotype from Ixodes scapularis ticks in northeastern and midwestern states and 1 from I. pacificus in western states.

And yes, Wisconsin is one of them. 

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New Maps Show Where Citizen Scientists Found Infected Ticks

New maps show where citizen scientists found infected ticks

Want an easy way to see where disease-carrying ticks have been found throughout the United States?

Check out the new interactive tick maps recently launched by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.

The maps are based on data published in mSphere, a multidisciplinary open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The information came from ticks submitted by citizen scientists as part of BALF’s Free Tick Testing Program, which ran from 2016 to 2019.

The study found infected Ixodes ticks in 116 counties which were not previously identified by the Centers for Disease Control as having them.

The testing program collected more than 20,400 ticks. 8,954 were Ixodes ticks, capable of carrying the most common tick-borne pathogens.

The research was conducted through a partnership between Bay Area Lyme Foundation, Northern Arizona University, Colorado State University and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The study evaluated the distribution and prevalence of the four most common tickborne pathogens:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the group which causes Lyme disease
  • Borrelia miyamotoi, which causes tick-borne relapsing fever
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis
  • protozoan pathogen, Babesia microti.

The program tested two types of ticks:

  • Ixodes scapularis, also known as the blacklegged tick or the deer tick, which are found in the Northeast, Midwest and South;
  • Ixodes pacificus, also known as the western blacklegged tick, which lives in the West
The interactive maps only represent data from this citizen science study. They do not represent the total risk of tick-borne infections in the US.

An eye-opening look

“These maps will be eye-opening for many Americans as it makes it easy to see that ticks carrying disease-causing bacteria can be commonly found across the US,” stated Tanner Porter, MS, a research associate at TGen and the lead author on the study.

“If you aren’t aware of the possibility of ticks, either in your backyard or whilst traveling, you are unlikely to look for them – but an unseen tick can still transmit a pathogen and cause disease. It is important for everyone to know to look for ticks, be aware of the pathogens that they carry, and takes steps to mitigate their risk.”

This new study expands on previous research identifying ticks capable of carrying Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in 83 counties (in 24 states) where these ticks had not been previously recorded.  These included:  Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The study builds on recently released CDC data that added 100 counties to the list of those with disease-carrying ticks.

PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: Bay Area Lyme Foundation