Archive for the ‘Rickettsia’ Category

Going Outside? Watch Out For Asian Longhorned Tick Now in Kentucky

https://www.wymt.com/content/news/Going-outside-Watch-out-for–510400381.html  News Story in Link

Going outside? Watch out for unusual tick found in Eastern Kentucky

By WYMT News Staff

MARTIN COUNTY, KY. (WAVE) – It’s Memorial Day weekend and more people will head outside as the summer season kicks off. While you’re out having fun, be sure to keep an eye out for a tick that is new to the area.

This year’s tick season is different in Kentucky because a new tick has popped up in our area.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has received more calls about seeing ticks, but reports that incidents of tick-borne diseases in the state are very low.

People still need to use precautions because ticks are out there. They’re looking to suck blood three times in their lives in order to reproduce. This year’s tick season is different in Kentucky because a new tick has popped up in our area.

“The most common ticks we have are the Lone Star Ticks and the American Dog Tick,” Spencer County Agriculture agent Bryce Roberts said. “The new one we found is the Asian Longhorned Tick.”

Roberts said the Asian Longhorned Tick was found in Eastern Kentucky, in Martin County.

It’s very concerning because of the diseases they do carry,” Roberts said.

New ticks bring new diseases. Before or when someone gets a tick disease, they see epidemiologist Dr. Paul Schulz.

“The two we encounter the most are Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,” Schulz said.

Schulz said the infectious disease department at Norton Healthcare found its first tick-borne disease of the year in March, a sign that tick season could be starting early.

“(In) well over 50 percent of diagnosed infections, the patient didn’t know they had tick exposure,” Schulz said.

People often don’t see or feel when a tick is biting them. However, there are ways to protect yourself and your summer experience: Cover up as much of your skin as you can, use a spray with DEET, avoid overgrown wooded areas, check yourself and your children every night.

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For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/12/three-surprising-things-i-learned-about-asian-longhorned-ticks-the-tick-guy-tom-mather/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/08/an-invasive-new-tick-is-spreading-in-the-u-s/

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

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/01/14/multistate-infestation-with-the-exotic-disease-vector-tick-haemaphysalis-longhornis-u-s-aug-2017-sept-2018/Where this tick exists, it is an important vector of human and animal disease agents. In China and Japan, it transmits the severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), which causes a human hemorrhagic fever (2), and Rickettsia japonica, which causes Japanese spotted fever (3). Studies in Asia identified ticks infected with various species of Anaplasma, Babesia, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia, and all of these pathogen groups circulate zoonotically in the United States (4,5). In addition, parthenogenetic reproduction, a biologic characteristic of this species, allows a single introduced female tick to generate progeny without mating, thus resulting in massive host infestations.

 

Authorities have been relatively mum on what this tick transmits and I’ve had to dig to find it.  So far there are no noted human illnesses caused by this tick in the U.S., but the ones listed above have occurred other countries.  Do they really think this tick isn’t going to acquire disease and transmit here?  Maybe in an alternative reality, but then again, the CDC lives in an alternative reality.

 

 

 

 

 

Rickettsiales in Ticks Removed From Outdoor Workers From Georgia & Florida

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/25/5/18-0438_article

Volume 25, Number 5—May 2019

Research Letter

Rickettsiales in Ticks Removed from Outdoor Workers, Southwest Georgia and Northwest Florida, USA

Elizabeth R. Gleim1Comments to Author , L. Mike Conner, Galina E. Zemtsova, Michael L. Levin, Pamela Wong, Madeleine A. Pfaff, and Michael J. Yabsley  DOI: 10.3201/eid2505.180438

The southeastern United States has multiple tick species that can transmit pathogens to humans. The most common tick species, Amblyomma americanum, is the vector for the causative agents of human ehrlichioses and southern tick-associated rash illness, among others (1). Dermacentor variabilis ticks can transmit the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ixodes scapularis ticks can transmit the causative agents of Lyme disease, babesiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (1). Although less common in the region, A. maculatum ticks are dominant in specific habitats and can transmit the causative agent of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis (1).

Persons who have occupations that require them to be outside on a regular basis might have a greater risk for acquiring a tickborne disease (2). Although numerous studies have been conducted regarding risks for tickborne diseases among forestry workers in Europe, few studies have been performed in the United States (2,3). The studies that have been conducted in the United States have focused on forestry workers in the northeastern region (2). However, because of variable phenology and densities of ticks, it is useful to evaluate tick activity and pathogen prevalence in various regions and ecosystems.

Burn-tolerant and burn-dependent ecosystems, such as pine (Pinus spp.) and mixed pine forests commonly found in the southeastern United States, have unique tick dynamics compared with those of other habitats (4). The objective of this study was to determine the tick bite risk and tickborne pathogen prevalence in ticks removed from forestry workers working in pine and mixed pine forests in southwest Georgia and northwest Florida, USA.

During June 2009–December 2011, forestry workers in southwestern Georgia (7 counties) and northwestern Florida (1 county) submitted ticks crawling on or attached to them. We identified ticks and tested them for selected pathogens (Appendix). Immature forms of the same species from the same day and person were pooled (<5 nymphs and <20 larvae) for testing.

A total of 53 persons submitted 362 ticks (Table). Excluding larvae, the most common tick species submitted was A. maculatum, followed by A. americanum, I. scapularis, and D. variabilis. On 4 occasions, 1 person submitted A. tuberculatum ticks (3 batches of larvae and 1 batch of nymphs) from a longleaf pine site in Baker County, Georgia. Average submissions per persons were 2.6 ticks (median 1 tick), but 1 person submitted 100 ticks. A total of 24 persons submitted ticks more than once, and they submitted an average of 0.08–6.5 ticks/month (overall average submission rate of 1.1 ticks/month). Three ticks were engorged (1 D. variabilis adult, 1 A. americanum nymph, and 1 Amblyomma sp. nymph); only the Amblyomma sp. nymph was positive for a pathogen (R. amblyommatis).

  • Rickettsia spp. prevalence was 36.4% in adult, 27.9% in nymphal, and 20% in larval A. americanum ticks; R. amblyommatis was the only species identified (Table).
  • Rickettsia spp. were detected in 23% of A. maculatum adults; R. amblyommatis was most common (6.0%), followed by R. parkeri (4.8%).
  • A previously detected novel Rickettsia sp. was identified in 10 of 11 A. tuberculatum larval pools and was reported by Zemtsova et al. (6). An additional pool of A. tuberculatum nymphs was tested in this study and also was positive for the novel Rickettsia sp.
  • E. chaffeensis was detected in 1 A. maculatum adult (prevalence 1.2%), and Panola mountain Ehrlichia sp. was detected in 2 A. maculatum adults (prevalence 2.4%) and 1 D. variabilis adult (prevalence 10%).
  • No ticks were positive for Borrelia spp., E. ewingii, or Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Thus, forestry workers were found to encounter ticks on a regular basis, and peak encounter rates reflected previously reported tick seasonality in this region (4). Only 3 (0.8%) of the ticks submitted were engorged, indicating prompt removal of most ticks and thus low risk for pathogen transmission. A. maculatum, a fairly uncommon tick in the southeastern United States, was the most commonly submitted tick. However, A. maculatum ticks dominate in regularly burned pine ecosystems (4), which is where most of these workers spent their time.

We observed several unique findings related to pathogens during this study. Larvae and nymphs of A. tuberculatum ticks were submitted on multiple occasions, a tick rarely reported on humans (7). These findings in conjunction with the identification of a novel Rickettsia sp. (6), suggest that additional research is warranted. This study also identified E. chaffeensis and Panola Mountain Ehrlichia in A. maculatum ticks. Although A. americanum ticks are considered the primary vector of Ehrlichia spp., these pathogens have been occasionally reported in questing A. maculatum ticks, suggesting that this tick might be involved in their transmission cycles (5,8). We also detected Panola Mountain Ehrlichia in 1 D. variabilis tick. Thus, further research regarding these alternative tick species as potential vectors of these pathogens is warranted, particularly in the case of A. maculatum ticks, which were a common species on forestry workers and are widespread in this region (4).

At the time of this study, Dr. Gleim was a research scientist at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. She is currently a disease ecologist at Hollins University, Roanoke, VA. Her research interests include wildlife and zoonotic diseases with a particular emphasis on tickborne diseases.

Acknowledgments

We thank the persons whom submitted ticks for this study and members of the Yabsley and Levin laboratories for providing laboratory assistance.

This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/University of Georgia (UGA) collaborative grant (#8212, Ecosystem Health and Human Health: Understanding the Ecological Effects of Prescribed Fire Regimes on the Distribution and Population Dynamics of Tick-Borne Zoonoses); the Oxford Research Scholars Program at Oxford College of Emory University; the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources (UGA); the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (UGA) through the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Act (50 Statute 917); and Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study sponsorship from fish and wildlife agencies of member states.

References

  1. Stromdahl  EY, Hickling  GJ. Beyond Lyme: aetiology of tick-borne human diseases with emphasis on the south-eastern United States. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012;59(Suppl 2):4864. DOIPubMed
  2. Covert  DJ, Langley  RL. Infectious disease occurrence in forestry workers: a systematic review. J Agromed. 2002;8:95111. DOIPubMed
  3. Lee  S, Kakumanu  ML, Ponnusamy  L, Vaughn  M, Funkhouser  S, Thornton  H, et al. Prevalence of Rickettsiales in ticks removed from the skin of outdoor workers in North Carolina. Parasit Vectors. 2014;7:607. DOIPubMed
  4. Gleim  ER, Conner  LM, Berghaus  RD, Levin  ML, Zemtsova  GE, Yabsley  MJ. The phenology of ticks and the effects of long-term prescribed burning on tick population dynamics in southwestern Georgia and northwestern Florida. PLoS One. 2014;9:e112174. DOIPubMed
  5. Loftis  AD, Kelly  PJ, Paddock  CD, Blount  K, Johnson  JW, Gleim  ER, et al. Panola Mountain Ehrlichia in Amblyomma maculatum From the United States and Amblyomma variegatum (Acari: Ixodidae) From the Caribbean and Africa. J Med Entomol. 2016;53:6968. DOIPubMed
  6. Zemtsova  GE, Gleim  E, Yabsley  MJ, Conner  LM, Mann  T, Brown  MD, et al. Detection of a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia in the gophertortoise tick. J Med Entomol. 2012;49:7836. DOIPubMed
  7. Goddard  J. A ten-year study of tick biting in Mississippi: implications for human disease transmission. J Agromed. 2002;8:2532. DOIPubMed
  8. Allerdice  ME, Hecht  JA, Karpathy  SE, Paddock  CD. Evaluation of Gulf Coast ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) for Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species. J Med Entomol. 2017;54:4814.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=28031351&dopt=Abstract

Table

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**Comment**

Again, folks down South should be taken seriously when they present with symptoms.  BTW: Southern advocates tell me that STARI looks, smells, and feels just like Lyme disease.  

Lyme IS in the South:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/25/hope-for-southerners/

The take home: Clark is finding borrelia (Lyme) strains in the South that the current CDC two-tier testing will never pick up in a thousand years.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285584725_Isolation_of_live_Borrelia_burgdorferi_sensu_lato_spirochetes_from_patients_with_undefined_disorders_and_symptoms_not_typical_for_Lyme_diseases

The take home: Clark found live Bbsl (bissettii-like strain) in people from the Southeast who had undefined disorders not typical of LD, and were treated for LD even though they were seronegative, proving that B. bissetti is responsible for worldwide human infection.

He also showed DNA of Bbsl in Lone Star ticks which might be a bridge vector of transmission to humans.

Dr. Clark was the first to report finding LD spirochetes in animals and ticks in South Carolina, as well as in wild lizards in South Carolina and Florida. He has documented the presence of LD Borrelia species, Babesia microti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia species, and other tick-borne pathogens in wild animals, ticks, dogs, and humans in Florida and other southern states.

Clark is infected.  Surprised?  This is why he’s finding answers – it’s much more than a job to him.

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/31/no-lyme-in-the-south-guess-again/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/19/jacksonville-family-shares-daughters-9-month-diagnosis-of-rare-disease-which-isnt-rare-lyme/

Time to start believing people!

Three Strains of Borrelia & Other Pathogens Found in Salivary Glands of Ixodes Ticks – Suggesting Quicker Transmission Time

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30940200

2019 Apr 2;12(1):152. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3418-7.

Tick-borne pathogen detection in midgut and salivary glands of adult Ixodes ricinus.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The tick midgut and salivary glands represent the primary organs for pathogen acquisition and transmission, respectively. Specifically, the midgut is the first organ to have contact with pathogens during the blood meal uptake, while salivary glands along with their secretions play a crucial role in pathogen transmission to the host. Currently there is little data about pathogen composition and prevalence in Ixodes ricinus midgut and salivary glands. The present study investigated the presence of 32 pathogen species in the midgut and salivary glands of unfed I. ricinus males and females using high-throughput microfluidic real-time PCR. Such an approach is important for enriching the knowledge about pathogen distribution in distinct tick organs which should lead to a better understanding I. ricinus-borne disease epidemiology.

RESULTS:

  • Borrelia lusitaniae, Borrelia spielmanii and Borrelia garinii, were detected in both midgut and salivary glands suggesting that the migration of these pathogens between these two organs might not be triggered by the blood meal.
  • In contrast, Borrelia afzelii was detected only in the tick midgut.
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia helvetica were the most frequently detected in ticks and were found in both males and females in the midgut and salivary glands.
  • In contrast, Rickettsia felis was only detected in salivary glands.
  • Finally, Borrelia miyamotoi and Babesia venatorum were detected only in males in both midguts and salivary glands.
  • Among all collected ticks, between 10-21% of organs were co-infected.
  • The most common bacterial co-infections in male and female midgut and salivary glands were Rickettsia helvetica + Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia helvetica + Borrelia lusitaniae, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Analysing tick-borne pathogen (TBP) presence in specific tick organs enabled us to (i) highlight contrasting results with well-established transmission mechanism postulates; (ii) venture new hypotheses concerning pathogen location and migration from midgut to salivary glands; and (iii) suggest other potential associations between pathogens not previously detected at the scale of the whole tick. This work highlights the importance of considering all tick scales (i.e. whole ticks vs organs) to study TBP ecology and represents another step towards improved understanding of TBP transmission.

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**Comment**
Ixodes ricinus, commonly known as the castor bean tick, sheep tick, or deer tick, transmits numerous pathogens of medical and veterinary importance including tick-borne encephalitis virus and Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme), and frequently bites humans. https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/disease-vectors/facts/tick-factsheets/ixodes-ricinus
The really important discovery was that three borrelia strains were found not only in the midgut but in the salivary glands – suggesting that the migration of these pathogens between these two organs might not be triggered by the blood meal.
For decades we’ve been told by the CDC that it takes a minimum of 36-48-hours for a tick to transmit Lyme to a human. Then, in 2013 we were told they needed to be embedded for 24 hours or more:  https://www.nhregister.com/columns/article/DR-KATZ-Of-Lyme-disease-and-lemonade-11412658.php
Then, microbiologist Holly Ahern came out with a fantastic video revealing that research on minimum attachment times have NEVER been done:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/04/14/transmission-time-for-lymemsids-infection/

Transmission Time:  Only one study done on Mice. At 24 hours every tick had transmitted borrelia to the mice; however, animal studies have proven that transmission can occur in under 16 hours and it occurs frequently in under 24 hours.  No human studies have been done and https://www.dovepress.com/lyme-borreliosis-a-review-of-data-on-transmission-time-after-tick-atta-peer-reviewed-article-IJGM  no studies have determined the minimum time it takes for transmission.

Yet, “authorities” continue to propagate this longer window, despite Lyme/MSIDS being a true 21st century pandemic & plague.

This study finally begins pushing the ball down the hill by showing it may not take a blood meal for spirochetes already within the saliva to be much more quickly injected into humans, causing infection much more quickly.

Lastly, this is a French study. The CDC probably won’t even look at it.

Tick Data – 76% Infected With One Organism, 20% Have Three or More Pathogens

https://www.tickcheck.com/statistics?

Each tick submitted for testing contributes to the research being conducted at TickCheck. By keeping records of all the results generated, we have been able to gain valuable insights into disease prevalence and co-infection rates. The comprehensive testing panel has been especially helpful in contributing to this research by ensuring all diseases and coinfections are accounted for when examining a tick.

Our current research shows:
  • 76% of ticks tested have at least one disease causing organism
  • 49% are co-infected with two or more organisms
  • 20% carry three or more
  • 9% of the ticks tested carry four or more

Infection Visualization by Tick Species

All Ticks Tested
76% Positive for Infection
Negative (24%)
_____________________________
  • 93% Positive for Infection
  • Negative (7%)
  • 63% Positive for Infection
  • Negative (37%)
  • 48% Positive for Infection
  • Negative (52%)

Coinfection Visualization

  • 2+ coinfection 49%
  • No coinfection 51%

Pathogenic Prevalence

The information below shows the positive/negative prevalence ratio of selected pathogens we test for. These pathogens were observed in ticks from the United States and Canada. Data set includes tests performed since TickCheck’s founding in 2014 and is updated in real time. (

Go to link at beginning to filter by state.  I’ve added the 3 listed for Wisconsin next to the entire sample size.  Please note the small sample sizes of WI ticks. 

Borrelia burgdorferi (deer tick) associated with Lyme disease

Sample size of 3,280 ticks.           70 Wisconsin ticks
  • 30% postive                                           33% positive
  • 70% negative                                         67% negative

Borrelia burgdorferi (western blacklegged tick) associated with Lyme disease

Sample size of 279 ticks.
  • 4% positive
  • 96% negative

Borrelia burgdorferi (lone star tick) associated with Lyme disease

Sample size of 899 ticks.
  • 8% positive
  • 92% negative

Borrelia burgdorferi (American dog tick) associated with Lyme disease

Sample size of 901 ticks.
  • 2% positive
  • 98% negative

Anaplasma phagocytophilum associated with anaplasmosis

Sample size of 2,146 ticks.           36 Wisconsin ticks
  • 8% positive                                           11% positive in Wisconsin
  • 92% negative                                        89% negative in Wisconsin

Babesia microti associated with babesiosis

Sample size of 1,894 ticks.           32 Wisconsin ticks
  • 4% positive                                            6% positive
  • 96% negative                                        94% negative

Bartonella spp. associated with bartonellosis

Sample size of 1,060 ticks.
  • 47% positive
  • 53% negative

Ehrlichia chaffeensis associated with ehrlichiosis

Sample size of 857 ticks.
  • 2% positive
  • 98% negative

Rickettsia spp. associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Sample size of 944 ticks.
  • 23% postive
  • 77% negative

Francisella tularensis associated with tularemia

Sample size of 1,028 ticks.
  • 1% positive
  • 99% negative

Borrelia miyamotoi associated with B. miyamotoi

Sample size of 1,091 ticks.
  • 6% postive
  • 94% negative

Borrelia lonestari associated with STARI

Sample size of 831 ticks.
  • 19% postitive
  • 81% negative

Babesia spp. associated with babesiosis

Sample size of 564 ticks.
  • 5% positive
  • 95% negative

Mycoplasma spp. associated with Mycoplasma spp.

Sample size of 948 ticks.
  • 8% positive
  • 92% negative

Borrelia spp. associated with Borrelia spp.

Sample size of 612 ticks.
  • 17% postive
  • 83% negative

Powassan virus Lineage II associated with Deer tick virus

Sample size of 102 ticks.
  • 24% positive
  • 76% negative

Borrelia mayonii associated with Lyme disease

Sample size of 376 ticks.
  • 100% negative

Ehrlichia ewingii associated with ehrlichiosis

Sample size of 283 ticks.
  • 100% negative

Rickettsia amblyommii associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Sample size of 177 ticks.
  • 46% positive
  • 54% negative

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For more about Tickcheckhttps://www.tickcheck.com/about

You can request free tick identification by sending in a quality picture of your tick. Using real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), Tickcheck can determine the presence of certain pathogens with an accuracy level of over 99.9%.  All information about how to send in your tick, costs of various tests, time for results, etc. is found here:  https://www.tickcheck.com/info/faq

Jonathan Weber is the founder and CEO of TickCheck and became acutely aware of the dangers of tick-borne diseases after his father caught Lyme during a family trip on the Appalachian Trail.

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**Comment**

This information supports current research showing many patients are infected with numerous pathogens causing more severe illness & requiring far more than the CDC’s mono therapy of doxycycline:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/10/30/study-shows-lyme-msids-patients-infected-with-many-pathogens-and-explains-why-we-are-so-sick/

It also supports previous work showing coinfections within ticks:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/05/01/co-infection-of-ticks-the-rule-rather-than-the-exception/

What I want to know is WHY nothing’s being done about this?  Why are people STILL given 21 days of doxycycline when that particular med will not work on numerous pathogens?
Lastly, a word about statistics – this tick data should be used with caution & never to turn sick patients away due to a statistic. If you are the sorry sucker who gets bit by that ONE tick carrying a “statistically insignificant” pathogen, you still got bit and have to deal with it.  
Shame on doctors for turning sick people away due to statistics and maps.
There’s no such thing as an “insignificant” tick bite!

But, Patients are STILL being turned away:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/22/its-just-crazy-why-is-lyme-disease-treatment-so-difficult-to-find-in-mississippi/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/03/19/jacksonville-family-shares-daughters-9-month-diagnosis-of-rare-disease-which-isnt-rare-lyme/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/31/no-lyme-in-the-south-guess-again/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/24/no-lyme-in-oklahoma-yeah-right/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/09/24/arkansas-kids-denied-lyme-treatment/  “They had the classic symptoms, they had the bulls eye rash, they had the joint pain, they had fevers and had flu like symptoms, yet we were denied treatment for at least two of them and I don’t understand how this is legal,” said Bowerman.

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

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

Bowerman also received a letter from the clinic stating doctors would no longer treat her children because she consistently questioned their medical advice and recommendations.

This is getting to be way beyond ludicrous.

 

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.

_________________________

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.

 

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

___________________

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/