Archive for the ‘Rickettsia’ Category

New Study: The Hidden Ways Microbes Control Tick Behavior

https://rawlsmd.com/health-articles/new-study-the-hidden-ways-microbes-control-tick-behavior?

New Study: The Hidden Ways Microbes Control Tick Behavior

New Study: The Hidden Ways Microbes Control Tick Behavior

by Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio
Posted 9/17/20

We’ve heard a lot of late about an increase in Lyme disease cases, but tick-borne diseases of all kinds — including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, rickettsiosis, and others — are on the rise throughout the United States, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least part of the increase in tick-borne illnesses can be traced to an expanding tick population, caused by several factors including changes in climate patterns and the development of housing into wooded areas, creating closer interactions between people, animals, and ticks.

But what if there’s also an unseen force at work compelling ticks to act out or present with certain behaviors that give them a leg up when it comes to their own survival — and that of the microbes they carry? New research suggests that perhaps there’s more to this story than we know.

First, a Basic Overview of Ticks On the Hunt

More than four decades after the first cases of Lyme disease were diagnosed, we’re still learning about tick behavior and why they operate in the way they do. We know that blood hosts like humans and animals are critical for tick survival, so ticks are regularly on the prowl.

A tick’s vision isn’t very good, so they rely on other sensory components to find food sources. Located on the first pairs of ticks’ legs are tiny structures called Haller’s organs. These organs are found only on ticks, and it is believed that they function somewhat like antennae and utilize the sense of smell to detect odors wafting through the air to find unsuspecting hosts.

Using their Haller’s organs, ticks detect the carbon dioxide (CO2) that comes from human respiration and breathing — they can sense other chemicals like ammonia and pheromones, too. While certain ticks, like the Lone Star tick, can aggressively charge potential human hosts, most prefer a more subtle approach: Waiting patiently on blades of grass or areas of brush until you approach them, an activity known as “questing.”

diagram of tick biology

When a tick quests, they grip the blade of grass or brush with their back legs and stretch their front legs into the air. In due time, a human or animal walks past, and they latch on, using the front legs to ascend their new host and search for a suitable spot to begin feeding.

As weird and as sci-fi as all this sounds, emerging research from Giovanni Benelli, PhD, Senior Research Entomologist at the University of Pisa in Pisa, Italy, has begun to shed light on microscopic agents that exert influence upon ticks’ hunting behavior. Interestingly, it’s the very microbes we work so hard to avoid that play puppeteer to their tick hosts.

6 Microbes that Manipulate Tick Behavior

In August 2020, Benelli published a new review in the journal Pathogens investigating whether microbes Anaplasma, Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Rickettsia, and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) were involved in influencing tick behavior and adaptive significance (traits that affect a tick’s reproductive success). Pathogenic manipulation — such as an increase in biting frequency and duration and changing host-borne odors to make them more appealing meals for other arthropods like mosquitos and sand flies — has already been noted in scientific literature.

In regards to ticks, Bellini’s data suggests modes of pathogen-tick manipulation may include physiological changes, tolerance to extreme temperatures, and enhanced survivability, among others. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the key highlights of Benelli’s research, a wealth of further insights into tick behavior that could be a crucial factor in helping to curtail the bugs’ proliferation and their ability to spread chronic illnesses.

1. How Borrelia Impacts Tick Behavior

Borrelia is the bacteria implicated in Lyme disease. In the United States, Borrelia burgdorferi is the species that’s found in black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) or deer ticks. However, in Europe, the predominant Lyme disease-carrying tick is the castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus).

Borrelia infection in the blood. Borrelia bacteria cause borreliose, transmitted by ticks and by lice.

Borrelia may manipulate tick behavior in both tick species, according to Bellini’s review. Here are some of his key findings:

Key Findings:

  • Black-legged nymph ticks infected with B. burgdorferi showed enhanced movement toward or away from light sources (phototaxis).
  • Nymph ticks infected with B. burgdorferi demonstrated an affinity for vertical surfaces such as the top layers of leaf litter piles or plant vegetation like blades of grass, which may provide them with more opportunities to come into contact with hosts.
  • B. burgdorferi stimulated tick histamine release factor (tHRF), the chemical that regulates vascular permeability and improves blood flow to the site of the bite for feeding.
  • Infected adult black-legged ticks had slower mobility than their non-infected counterparts. However, research is unclear whether this is a behavior adaptation resulting from B. burgdorferi.
  • Castor bean nymph ticks exposed to extremely dry conditions showed they were more active and more resistant to harsh conditions than those that were not carrying the pathogen.
  • Nymph ticks carrying a strain of Borrelia known as Borrelia afzelii (a European strain known for its ability to affect the central nervous system) had increased rates of mobility, including duration and speed of movement, over non-infected ones.

The Takeaway

Indeed B. burgdorferi may manipulate tick behavior in several ways, but Bellini acknowledges that further research is needed to determine how these behaviors contribute to disease and how the data can be used to slow the spread of ticks and prevent the transmission of Lyme disease.

2. How Anaplasma Affects Tick Behavior

All ticks, including the black-legged tick, carry multiple disease-causing microbes known as coinfections. One such microbe is Anaplasma phagocytophilum, previously called human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). When a tick is infected with A. phagocytophilum, it may demonstrate behavioral changes that influence survival, questing, and feeding.

Anaplasma microbe, microscope view

The following three are important points to note from Bellini’s research:

Key Findings

  • A. phagocytophilum-infected black-legged ticks create heat shock proteins in response to stressful environmental circumstances. This makes them more resilient to extremely dry environments and boosts their survivability rates.
  • In the non-infected tick population, cold temperatures can raise the tick mortality rate. But ticks that have been infected with A. phagocytophilum have an advantage — they manufacture an antifreeze glycoprotein that guards them against the cold.
  • A. phagocytophilum is present in the salivary glands of ticks, and it inhibits cellular death to allow for the infection to be transmitted from the tick’s vector to the host, fostering more effective feeding and greater survival.

The Takeaway

The relationship between A. phagocytophilum and tick manipulation is a better-researched interaction than that of other ticks and pathogens. The mechanisms by which A. phagocytophilum alters the behavior of the tick are more apparent in terms of how it augments tick reproduction and survivability. However, when it comes to other species of Anaplasma that may impact humans or animals, more research is needed.

3. How Babesia Affects Tick Behavior

Babesia is a distant cousin of malaria and a less virulent microbe, comparatively. Babesia may occur in up to 40% of people infected with Lyme disease, indicates a report in Trends in Parasitology, making it a relatively common coinfection. The species of Babesia that are most likely to pose a disease risk to humans are Babesia microti, Babesia divergins, and Babesia ducani (WA-1).

Babesia microbe, zoomed view, round

Regarding Benelli’s review, only a few studies have looked at the effects Babesia may have on tick behavior, but he noted the following:

Key Findings

  • B. microti maximized the success of feeding and strengthened the survival of shrew ticks (Ixodes trianguliceps), but these modifications didn’t correlate with the strain’s infection rates.
  • In animal studies, B microti delayed the amount of time it took for a tick to become engorged.
  • Nymph ticks that fed on infected hosts had a higher body weight than those that fed on non-infected ones.
  • Larvae who fed on infected hosts shed their skin more quickly (a process known as molting) than those that fed on non-infected ones.

The Takeaway

At present, the research on Babesia species and their ability to manipulate tick behavior is scant. The processes that encourage feeding, development, and the survival of ticks infected with Babesia have yet to be determined.

4 & 5. How Bartonella and Rickettsia Affect Tick Behavior

Rickettsia microbe, zoomed in microscope view

Although Bartonella, a common coinfection found in people with Lyme, and Rickettsia, a highly virulent and life-threatening microbe, can pose serious health risks to humans, little is known about the behavioral changes these infections may have on tick behavior. A few points worthy of consideration include:

Key Findings

  • Bartonella-infected castor bean ticks had an increase in a component called Ixodes ricinusserine protease inhibitor (IrSPI). This enzyme inhibitor is involved in such biological processes as inflammation, blood clotting, wound healing, constricting blood vessels, and altering hosts’ defense systems.
  • Rickettsia-infected ticks demonstrated a greater inclination towards electromagnetic fields than non-infected ones.

The Takeaway

Like Babesia, the research on Bartonella- and Rickettsia-infected ticks is minimal. However, because annual incidences are on the rise, continued investigation in this area has the potential to bring about crucial information for the benefit of public health.

6. How Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Affects Tick Behavior

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBEV) is a viral infection spread through the bite of an infected tick. The virus resides throughout Europe and Asia, according to the CDC, making the infection relatively unknown in the U.S.

Encephalitis microbe, zoomed in microscope view

Between 20% and 30% of people who acquire the infection develop symptoms that affect the nervous system. Evidence for two hypotheses suggest the virus can manipulate tick behavior in the following ways:

Key Findings

  • TBEV intensifies tick movement and the ability to find a host.
    Feeding results in higher concentrations of TBEV.
  • When a TBEV-infected tick is unfed, the concentration of the virus remains low. But when the tick feeds, the TBEV titers raise to reach detectable levels.
  • A percentage (6%) of TBEV-infected adult castor bean ticks can navigate DEET-covered areas with a 1% formulation. In contrast, uninfected ticks were unable to cross these areas.

Takeaway

In general, ticks infected with TBEV demonstrated enhanced tick mobility, including walking speed and duration, and a proclivity toward higher questing heights. These changes may lead to greater outcomes when it comes to tick and microbe survivability.

Putting It All Together

There’s no doubt that’s an incredible amount of information to take it in. But this valuable data sets the stage for the urgent need for ongoing research when it comes to understanding how pathogens affect and modify tick behavior.

There is a wide array of tick species worldwide, and countless disease-causing pathogens that pose a threat to human health. Tracking behavioral changes in infected and non-infected ticks could one day lead to positive, new developments for halting the spread of tick-borne diseases.

In the meantime, your best bet is to practice good tick-prevention strategies like doing regular tick checks when coming in from the outdoors, wearing permethrin-treating shoes and clothing, and promptly removing attached ticks with a pair of fine-pointed tweezers. 

REFERENCES

1. Alberdi P, Espinosa PJ, Cabezas-Cruz A, de la Fuente J. Anaplasma phagocytophilum Manipulates Host Cell Apoptosis by Different Mechanisms to Establish Infection. Vet Sci. 2016;3(3):15. Published 2016 Jul 15. doi: 10.3390/vetsci3030015
2. Benelli G. Pathogens Manipulating Tick Behavior-Through a Glass, Darkly. Pathogens. 2020;9(8):E664. Published 2020 Aug 17. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9080664
3. Blisnick AA, Šimo L, Grillon C, et al. The Immunomodulatory Effect of IrSPI, a Tick Salivary Gland Serine Protease Inhibitor Involved in Ixodes ricinus Tick Feeding. Vaccines (Basel). 2019;7(4):148. Published 2019 Oct 12. doi: 10.3390/vaccines7040148
4. Carr AL, Mitchell RD III, Dhammi A, Bissinger BW, Sonenshine DE, Roe RM. Tick Haller’s Organ, a New Paradigm for Arthropod Olfaction: How Ticks Differ from Insects. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(7):1563. Published 2017 Jul 18. doi: 10.3390/ijms18071563
5. Dai J, Narasimhan S, Zhang L, Liu L, Wang P, Fikrig E. Tick histamine release factor is critical for Ixodes scapularis engorgement and transmission of the lyme disease agent. PLoS Pathog. 2010;6(11):e1001205. Published 2010 Nov 24. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001205
6. Lyme and Other Tickborne Diseases Increasing. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/diseases-and-conditions/lyme-disease/index.html#:~:text=The%20reported%20numbers%20of%20cases,59%2C349%20reported%20cases%20in%202017.
7. Tick-borne encephalitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/tickborne-encephalitis#:~:text=Tick%2Dborne%20encephalitis%20(TBE),headache%2C%20nausea%2C%20and%20vomiting
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**Comment**
 
This explains a lot – if only mainstream medicine/research will listen instead of conducting more climate data. It also makes sense.
 
 
It is commonly known that parasites affect behavior:

Parasites are a whole new fantastical frontier. I’ll never forget this information on how parasites affect human behavior by Dr. Klinghardt, which I found here:  http://www.betterhealthguy.com/a-deep-look-beyond-lyme

  • Parasite patients often express the psyche of the parasites – sticky, clingy, impossible to tolerate – but a wonderful human being is behind all of that.

  • We are all a composite of many personalities. Chronic infections outnumber our own cells by 10:1. We are 90% “other” and 10% “us”. Our consciousness is a composite of 90% microbes and 10% us.

  • Our thinking, feeling, creativity, and expression are 90% from the microbes within us. Patients often think, crave, and behave as if they are the parasite.

  • Our thinking is shaded by the microbes thinking through us. The food choices, behavioral choices, and who we like is the thinking of the microbes within us expressing themselves.

  • Patients will reject all treatments that affect the issue that requires treating.

  • Patients will not guide themselves to health when the microbes have taken over.

It only follows that parasites will affect tick behavior as well.

Ticks Climb the Mountains: Ixodes Tick Infestation and Infection by Tick-Borne Pathogens

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32723635/

. 2020 Sep;11(5):101489.

doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101489.Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Ticks climb the mountains: Ixodid tick infestation and infection by tick-borne pathogens in the Western Alps

Abstract

In mountain areas of northwestern Italy, ticks were rarely collected in the past. In recent years, a marked increase in tick abundance has been observed in several Alpine valleys, together with more frequent reports of Lyme borreliosis. We then carried out a four-year study to assess the distribution and abundance of ticks and transmitted pathogens and determine their altitudinal limit in a natural park area in Piedmont region.

  • Ixodes ricinus (castor bean tick) and Dermacentor marginatus (ornate sheep tick) were collected from both the vegetation and hunted wild ungulates.
  • Tick abundance was significantly associated with altitude, habitat type and signs of animal presence, roe deer’s in particular.
  • Ixodes ricinus prevailed in distribution and abundance and, although their numbers decreased with increasing altitude, we recorded the presence of all active life stages of up to around 1700 m a.s.l., with conifers as the second most infested habitat after deciduous woods.
  • Molecular analyses demonstrated the infection of questing I. ricinus nymphs with B. burgdorferi sensu lato (15.5 %), Rickettsia helvetica and R. monacensis (20.7%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (1.9 %), Borrelia miyamotoi (0.5 %) and Neoehrlichia mikurensis (0.5 %).
  • One third of the questing D. marginatus were infected with R. slovaca.
  • We observed a spatial aggregation of study sites infested by B. burgdorferi s.l. infected ticks below 1400 m. Borrelia-infected nymphs prevailed in open areas, while SFG rickettsiae prevalence was higher in coniferous and deciduous woods.
  • Interestingly, prevalence of SFG rickettsiae in ticks doubled above 1400 m, and R. helvetica was the only pathogen detected above 1800 m a.s.l.
  • Tick infestation on hunted wild ungulates indicated the persistence of tick activity during winter months and, when compared to past studies, confirmed the recent spread of I. ricinus in the area.

Our study provides new insights into the population dynamics of ticks in the Alps and confirms a further expansion of ticks to higher altitudes in Europe. We underline the importance of adopting a multidisciplinary approach in order to develop effective strategies for the surveillance of tick-borne diseases, and inform the public about the hazard posed by ticks, especially in recently invaded areas.

______________________

**Comment**

Not that ticks can’t climb mountains – but migrating birds probably dropped them there:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/11/07/ticks-on-the-move-due-to-migrating-birds-and-photoperiod-not-climate-change/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/09/danish-study-shows-migrating-birds-are-spreading-ticks-their-pathogens-including-places-without-sustainable-tick-populations/

Regarding R. slovaca:

We also identified a case of R. slovaca infection in southern Rhineland-Palatinate. The patient reported a tick bite; the tick was identified as Dermacentor spp. Fever, lymphadenopathy of submandibular lymph nodes, and exanthema at the site of the tick bite developed 7 days later. Serologic examinations by using an immunofluorescent test (Focus Diagnostics, Cypress, CA, USA) showed antibody titers of 64 for immunoglobulin (Ig) M and 1,024 for IgG against rickettsiae of the spotted fever group. These results indicated an acute rickettsial infection. Because of strong cross-reactivity among all species in the spotted fever group, we cannot differentiate between antibodies against R. slovaca and other species in this group.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/15/12/09-0843_article

 

 

 

Interrupted Blood Feeding in Ticks: Causes and Consequences

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32560202/

Interrupted Blood Feeding in Ticks: Causes and Consequences

Affiliations expand

Free article

Abstract

Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods and act as vectors for a great variety of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and helminths. Some tick-borne viruses, such as Powassan virus and tick-borne encephalitis virus, are transmissible within 15-60 min after tick attachment. However, a minimum of 3-24 h of tick attachment is necessary to effectively transmit bacterial agents such as Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., and Rickettsia spp. to a new host. Longer transmission periods were reported for Borrelia spp. and protozoans such as Babesia spp., which require a minimum duration of 24-48 h of tick attachment for maturation and migration of the pathogen.

Laboratory observations indicate that the probability of transmission of tick-borne pathogens increases with the duration an infected tick is allowed to remain attached to the host. However, the transmission time may be shortened when partially fed infected ticks detach from their initial host and reattach to a new host, on which they complete their engorgement.

For example, early transmission of tick-borne pathogens (e.g., Rickettsia rickettsii, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Brucella canis) and a significantly shorter transmission time were demonstrated in laboratory experiments by interrupted blood feeding.

The relevance of such situations under field conditions remains poorly documented.

In this review, we explore parameters of, and causes leading to, spontaneous interrupted feeding in nature, as well as the effects of this behavior on the minimum time required for transmission of tick-borne pathogens.

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**Comment**

Partial feeding is not rare and needs to be taken into account. Unfortunately, authorities have followed a tightly controlled narrative when it comes to transmission times – which has only served to hurt patients for decades.

There are cases where Lyme (borrelia) has been transmitted within hours:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/12/07/igenex-presentation/

Excerpt:

Bob Giguere of IGeneX states a case by Dr. Jones of a little girl who went outside to play about 8:30a.m. and came inside at 10:30 with an attached tick above her right eye.  By 2 o’clock, she had developed the facial palsy.  At the hospital she was told it couldn’t be Lyme as the tick hadn’t been attached long enough.  They offered a neuro-consult…..

By 4pm she couldn’t walk or talk.

Do not believe what the “experts” tell you about transmission times!

Authorities also talk about ticks having a “grace period” before they transmit which is hog-wash:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/03/10/grace-period-for-ticks-nope/

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/04/14/transmission-time-for-lymemsids-infection/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/26/three-strains-of-borrelia-other-pathogens-found-in-salivary-glands-of-ixodes-ticks-suggesting-quicker-transmission-time/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/11/14/study-shows-ticks-can-transmit-rickettsia-immediately/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/06/28/powassan-can-kill/

 

 

 

 

Emerging Tick-Borne Diseases & Blood Safety: Summary of a Public Workshop

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32208532/

. 2020 Mar 24.

doi: 10.1111/trf.15752. Online ahead of print.

Emerging Tick-Borne Diseases and Blood Safety: Summary of a Public Workshop

Affiliations expand

Abstract

Tick-borne agents of disease continue to emerge and subsequently expand their geographic distribution. The threat to blood safety by tick-borne agents is ever increasing and requires constant surveillance concomitant with implementation of appropriate intervention methods. In April 2017, the Food and Drug Administration organized a public workshop on emerging tick-borne pathogens (excluding Babesia microti and Lyme disease) designed to provide updates on the current understanding of emerging tick-borne diseases, thereby allowing for extended discussions to determine if decisions regarding mitigation strategies need to be made proactively. Subject matter experts and other stakeholders participated in this workshop to discuss issues of biology, epidemiology, and clinical burden of tick-borne agents, risk of transfusion-transmission, surveillance, and considerations for decision making in implementing safety interventions. Herein, we summarize the scientific presentations, panel discussions, and considerations going forward.

____________________

**Comment**

I only had access to the abstract, but Dr. Cameron writes more fully on the workshop here:  https://danielcameronmd.com/babesia-infection-transmitted-blood-supply/

Interestingly, according to the abstract, they excluded Babesia and Lyme, which are arguably two of the largest problems. It was pointed out that 200 cases of Babesia were transmitted through blood transfusions at the time of the workshop and that Anaplasma is next with increasing clinical cases.

Evidently there have been no reported cases of Lyme transmitted through the blood supply.

 

Other tick-borne pathogens have been transmitted through donated blood, but these occurrences are rare. (Or rarely reported)

  • 11 cases: A. phagocytophilum, responsible for Anaplasmosis (transmitted by the Ixodes ticks)
  • 2 cases: Tick-borne encephalitis virus complex (TBEV, Powassan virus, DTV), (transmitted by the Ixodes ticks)
  • 1 case: Colorado tick-fever virus (transmitted by Rocky Mountain wood ticks)
  • 1 case: Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (transmitted by the Lone Star tick)
  • 1 case: Ehrlichia ewingii (transmitted by the Lone Star tick)

In addition, “two emerging [tick-borne agents] − B. miyamotoi and Powassan virus were discussed − for B. miyamotoi,cases have steadily increased since 2014.”

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/28/tick-borne-infection-risk-in-blood-transfusion/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/11/transfusion-transmitted-babesiosis-one-states-experience/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/08/08/transfusion-transmitted-babesiosis-in-nonendemic-areas/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/05/26/fda-recommends-testing-for-tick-borne-illness-in-donated-blood-a-big-duh/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/06/02/study-showing-results-testing-babesia-microti/

 

Asian Longhorned Tick Able to Transmit RMSF in Lab Setting (Also Transmitted Within Ticks Through Ova)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32338290/

The Ability of the Invasive Asian Longhorned Tick Haemaphysalis Longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) to Acquire and Transmit Rickettsia Rickettsii (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae), the Agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Under Laboratory Conditions

2020 Apr 27;tjaa076.
doi: 10.1093/jme/tjaa076. Online ahead of print.
  • PMID: 32338290

Abstract

The invasive Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann, was first detected in the United States in 2017. It has since been found in 12 states, and there is concern that the tick’s parthenogenetic ability and wide variety of host species may allow for broader dissemination. Of the tick-borne diseases endemic to the United States, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a rapidly progressive and potentially fatal disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is the most severe. There is considerable geographical overlap between spotted fever rickettsioses cases, which include RMSF, and the currently known distribution of H. longicornis, providing the potential for this tick to encounter this pathogen.

We have evaluated the ability of H. longicornis to acquire and transmit R. rickettsii under laboratory conditions. Haemaphysalis longicornis as larvae and nymphs acquired the pathogen while feeding on infected guinea pigs. The infection persisted through every life stage, all of which were able to transmit R. rickettsii to naïve hosts. The pathogen was also transmitted at a low frequency between generations of H. longicornis through the ova. While H. longicornis was demonstrated to be a competent vector for R. rickettsii under laboratory conditions, the probability of its involvement in the maintenance and transmission of this pathogen in nature, as well as its potential impact on human health, requires further study.

___________________

**Comment**

The Asian Long-horned tick used to be known as pretty much just a livestock pest.  Obviously, researchers are changing their tune.  What makes this tick particularly unique and equally terrifying is its ability to reproduce through cloning – making a literal infestation very quickly. It is traipsing through the entire U.S. – having been found in at least 12 states.

Here we see it can also transmit Lyme (although they say “minimally” – whatever that means)  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/10/26/researchers-conclude-asian-longhorned-tick-contributes-minimally-to-lyme-disease-in-the-u-s/

The pressing question is what all do they transmit?  We know this so far:  

It spreads SFTS (sever fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome), “an emerging hemorrhagic fever,” causing fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, disease of the lymph nodes, and conjunctival congestion, but the potential impact of this tick on tickborne illness is not yet known. In other parts of the world, this Longhorned tick, also called the East Asian or bush tick, has been associated with several tickborne diseases, such as spotted fever rickettsioses, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme Disease.  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/12/first-longhorned-tick-confirmed-in-arkansas/

For a 2016 literature review on SFTS: http://infectious-diseases-and-treatment.imedpub.com/research-advances-on-epidemiology-of-severefever-with-thrombocytopenia-syndrome-asystematic-review-of-the-literature.php?aid=17986
Although the clinical symptoms of SFTS and HGA are similar to each other, but the treatment methods of the two diseases are totally different. Doctors notice that the biggest difference between the clinical symptom of SFTS and HGA is that SFTS patients generally without skin rash, the dermorrhagia is also not seriously, and few massive hemorrhage cases were reported [23]. It is also reported that SFTS patients had gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are rarely observed in HGA patients [2]. So these differences can be used as the auxiliary basis of differential diagnosis.
At present, there is still no specific vaccine or antiviral therapy for SFTSV infection. Supportive treatment, including plasma, platelet, granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), recombinant human interleukin 11, and gamma globulin is the most essential part of case treatment [44]. Meanwhile, some measures were taken to maintain water, electrolyte balance and treat complications are also very important.
Ribavirin is reported to be effective for treating Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) infections and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, but it is still inadequate to judge the effect of ribavirin on SFTS patients because of the study limitation without adequate parameters were investigated [45]. Host immune responses play an important role in determining the severity and clinical outcome in patients with infection by SFTSV.
For Viral treatment options:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/28/combating-viruses/

And lastly, please know ticks parasitize one another, potentially spreading all manner of diseases to humans.  This fact also shoots holes in the regurgitated mantra that only certain ticks carry certain pathogens.  If they are feasting on one another, they can potentially infect each other and then us:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/07/tick-bites-tick-hyperparasitism/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/07/19/rutgers-racing-to-contain-asian-longhorned-tick/

And now it appears to have the ability at least in a lab setting to transmit RMSF.  For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/14/rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-rmsf/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/25/kentucky-more-than-two-dozen-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-cases-reported-in-grayson-county/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/21/mom-got-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-while-picking-pumpkins/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/08/13/severe-case-of-rmsf-had-to-remove-patients-arms-and-legs/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/16/new-tick-causes-epidemic-of-rmsf/