Archive for the ‘Rickettsia’ Category

Rickettsia burneti and Brucella melitensis Co-Infection: A Case Report & Literature Review

Rickettsia burneti and Brucella melitensis co-infection: a case report and literature review


Rickettsia is the pathogen of Q fever, Brucella ovis is the pathogen of brucellosis, and both of them are Gram-negative bacteria which are parasitic in cells. The mixed infection of rickettsia and Brucella ovis is rarely reported in clinic. Early diagnosis and treatment are of great significance to the treatment and prognosis of brucellosis and Q fever. Here, we report a case of co-infection Rickettsia burneti and Brucella melitensis. The patient is a 49-year-old sheepherder, who was hospitalized with left forearm trauma. Three days after admission, the patient developed fever of 39.0°C, accompanied by sweating, fatigue, poor appetite and headache. Indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) was used to detect Rickettsia burneti IgM. After 72 hours of blood culture incubation, bacterial growth was detected in aerobic bottles, Gram-negative bacilli were found in culture medium smear, the colony was identified as Brucella melitensis by mass spectrometry. Patients were treated with doxycycline (100 mg bid, po) and rifampicin (600 mg qd, po) for 4 weeks. After treatment, the symptoms disappeared quickly, and there was no sign of recurrence or chronic infection. Q fever and Brucella may exist in high-risk practitioners, so we should routinely detect these two pathogens to prevent missed diagnosis.

With Three Invasive Tick Species Thriving in Connecticut, State Scientist Warns of Major Public Health Hazard

With three invasive tick species thriving in Connecticut, state scientist warns of major public health hazard

Stratford, Ct. - 08/13/2021 - Dr. Goudarz Molaei, with Connecticut's Agricultural Experiment Station, searches for ticks trapped on a canvas dragged through shoreline vegetation. Photograph by Mark Mirko |
Stratford, Ct. – 08/13/2021 – Dr. Goudarz Molaei, with Connecticut’s Agricultural Experiment Station, searches for ticks trapped on a canvas dragged through shoreline vegetation. Photograph by Mark Mirko | (Mark Mirko/The Hartford Courant)

State scientist Goudarz Molaei pulled a square of cloth through brush and grass on the Stratford coast recently, then stopped and pointed to a crawling smear of larvae on the white fabric.

The tiny arachnids were either Gulf Coast or lone star ticks, two of three invasive species, along with the Asian long-horned tick, that have recently established footholds in Connecticut.

First seen only in pockets near the coast, the blood-sucking, disease-carrying ticks have spread into other parts of the state. Compared with past years, many more worried residents and visitors have submitted ticks to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, mostly deer ticks that may carry Lyme disease, Molaei said. The tally so far in 2021 is 4,700 tick submissions to the testing laboratory, compared with a total annual average of 3,000 submissions.

Milder winters and warmer temperatures overall are helping the ticks survive and thrive in Connecticut.

“This is going to be a major public health concern in the near future, if it is not already,” Molaei said.  (See link for article)



Important takeaways:

  • Previously only .2% of submitted ticks were lone star ticks which increased to 4.2% this year. They transmit ehrlichiosis, STARI, spotted fever rickettsiosis, tularemia, Alpha-gal allergy, and Heartland and Bourbon Viruses.
  • The researcher states that it’s a matter of time before the entire state of Connecticut will be infested with Asian long-horned tick – the tick that can reproduce by cloning. It is supposedly less attracted to human skin but can spread diseases that make both animals and humans seriously ill.
  • The Gulf Coast tick overwintered successfully in Connecticut but currently is limited to coastal areas.  Thirty percent tested there were infected with rickettsiosis, which is similar to but less serious than Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • The deer tick, or blacklegged tick transmits Lyme disease and is active any time temperatures are above freezing.  All life stages bite humans.
  • The following percentages of ticks were sent to the Experiment Station this year:
    • 72.8% deer ticks (32% were positive for Lyme, 10% for Babesia, 4% for Anaplasmosis – and 2% tested positive for at least 2 disease agents concurrently)
    • 23.1% American dog ticks
    • the rest were lone star ticks

Study Shows American Dog Ticks in Western U.S. Are a Separate Species

Study Shows American Dog Ticks in Western U.S. Are a Separate Species

Dermacentor similis, male

Researchers have split the medically important American dog tick into two species: the existing Dermacentor variabilis in eastern states and the newly described Dermacentor similis west of the Rocky Mountains. An adult male D. similis tick is shown here. (Photo courtesy of Paula Lado, Ph.D.)

By Melissa Mayer

Melissa Mayer

Melissa Mayer

Rocky Mountain spotted fever spreads when Rickettsia rickettsia bacteria pour into a bite wound while an American dog tick takes a blood meal. Unlike some other tick-borne diseases, which require a longer bite to transmit, Rocky Mountain spotted fever infection may take place within the first 30 minutes of the tick bite.

The distribution of the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) in the United States is a wide yet broken one. It’s mostly found throughout the central and eastern parts of the country—with a few western populations all the way on the other side of the Rocky Mountains. But are these widely separated populations really the same species?

In a study published this month in the Journal of Medical Entomology, a team of researchers at Ohio State University used an integrative taxonomy approach—looking at both physical and genetic evidence—to determine that the ticks formerly known as Dermacentor variabilis in the west are a new species, which they’ve named Dermacentor similis.

Wild, Wild West

Paula Lado, Ph.D.

Paula Lado, Ph.D.

“We were working on other aspects related to Dermacentor evolution and phylogenetics, and our results consistently showed a separation between populations from the western states and all other locations eastern of the Rockies,” says lead author Paula Lado, Ph.D., who is now with the Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases at Colorado State University. “And that had been shown in other studies in the past, so we decided to explore the topic in depth.”

Dermacentor tick collection locations

(See link for article)



The study also found that ticks from Wisconsin and Michigan formed a small subcluster in the eastern group, which means there’s probably some variation there.

The difference between these ticks is in the minutia.  They both will happily infect you. While taxonomy considers this a “win” it’s just more research that doesn’t help patients at all. A tick is a tick is a tick.  All suck your blood and have the potential of transmitting life-altering pathogens into the human and animal body.

Important quotes:

And, because the American dog tick transmits the bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever as well as other pathogens, describing a new species like D. similis means taking a close look at which diseases these ticks can carry and how well they do it, which is called vector competency.

“Splitting D. variabilis into two species may mean that they could be vectors for different pathogens,” Lado says. “In my opinion, it is crucial to determine the vector competency of the new species, D. similis. That will allow for us to know what pathogens are transmitted by both Dermacentor species.”

A word of warning on those quotes: all of these variables have been proven over time to be short-sighted as ticks can acquire the ability to transmit things they never used to transmit.  They have also been found in places they never were before.  Doctors looking at entomology maps have been misdiagnosing people for decades as the information is constantly changing, limited, and imperfect. Please see: The Confounding Debate Over Lyme in the South (Speilman’s maps)

Transmission times have been hotly contested for over 40 years. Mainstream medicine and conflict-riddled researchers and public health ‘authorities’ continue to doggedly state the party line that Lyme transmission takes at least 24-48 hours, whereas reality paints a far different picture, showing the potential transmission of Lyme (and other pathogens) can occur within a few hours.  It must also be remembered that minimum transmission time has never been determined, and some coinfections like Powassan virus can be transmitted within minutes. There’s also the sticky issue of partially fed ticks being able to transmit much sooner.

There is an absolute dearth of research on the issue of coinfected ticks and coinfected patients.  Does coinfection alter transmission times?  The coinfection issue remains in the Dark Ages, leaving patients and the doctors who dare to treat them muddling blindly through the process.  But, hey now we know some worthless information about the undersides of ticks!

Again, the only box Lyme/MSIDS fits into is “Pandora’s.” Trying to put a lid on this thing is completely futile.

For more:

Below is a picture of a tick, without food or water for days, and the thousands of eggs it laid.

Tick eggs

Ticks aren’t picky, and can show up in the wildest of places:



Know Your Ticks

Know your ticks

Easy to read table shows the most common ticks found in the U.S. that transmit pathogens to humans.
Note: only a partial list. To learn more about tick-bite prevention and how to be Tick AWARE, click here

Click here to download the Tick Table

Tick Table

For more:

Remember, in Wisconsin, ticks are found in every county in the state. Researchers are also finding them in bright, open, mowed lawns.

Tick Season 2021: Why Researchers Are Focusing on Staten Island Backyards

Tick season 2021: Here’s why researchers are focusing on Staten Island backyards

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — For the last four years, researchers from Columbia University have been studying the rise in tick populations and Lyme disease on Staten Island — and the work continues this summer as they drag for ticks, set up hair traps and place trail cameras in residents’ backyards.

The researchers are studying both parks and residential areas to better understand the ecology of ticks and the risk of tick-transmitted diseases in urban environments. And ticks are now being found across all of Staten Island, not just in the southernmost parts.

Most notably, the Asian longhorned tick continues to spread across the borough.

(See link for article)



For more on Diuk-Wasser’s work.