Archive for the ‘Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever’ Category

New Pathogens Found in Oklahoma Ticks

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/vbz.2021.0057

Detection of Borrelia miyamotoi and Powassan Virus Lineage II (Deer Tick Virus) from Odocoileus virginianus Harvested Ixodes scapularis in Oklahoma

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2021.0057

Abstract

Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer) is the primary host of adult Ixodes scapularis (deer tick). Most of the research into I. scapularis has been geographically restricted to the northeastern United States, with limited interest in Oklahoma until recently as the I. scapularis populations spread due to climate change. Ticks serve as a vector for pathogenic bacteria, protozoans, and viruses that pose a significant human health risk. To date, there has been limited research to determine what potential tick-borne pathogens are present in I. scapularis in central Oklahoma. Using a one-step multiplex real-time reverse transcription-PCR, I. scapularis collected from white-tailed deer was screened for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Babesia microti, and deer tick virus (DTV). Ticks (n = 394) were pooled by gender and life stage into 117 samples. Three pooled samples were positive for B. miyamotoi and five pooled samples were positive for DTV. This represents a minimum infection rate of 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively. A. phagocytophilum, B. burgdorferi, and B. microti were not detected in any samples. This is the first report of B. miyamotoi and DTV detection in Oklahoma I. scapularis ticks. This demonstrates that I. scapularis pathogens are present in Oklahoma and that further surveillance of I. scapularis is warranted.

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**Comment**

A few points:

  • This article is based upon the faulty premise that somehow “climate change” is causing tick and disease proliferation.  This has been proven to be false yet is continually regurgitated as truth.  This; however, does not mean “the powers that be” are not committing heinous acts of “climate engineering” which IS causing very real destruction of life.
    • This recent article proves Spain has admitted recently spraying deadly chemtrails as part of a secret UN program to fight COVID.
    • Four state meteorological agency whistleblowers announced in 2015 that planes were regularly spraying lead dioxide, silver iodide, and diatomite throughout Spain to ward off rain and allow temperatures to rise to create a summery climate for tourism as well as the agricultural sector – producing cold drops of great intensity.
  • We’ve also been told ad nauseum that Lyme doesn’t exist in Oklahoma and while this research also didn’t find it, it did discover B miyamotoi which symptoms are similar to Lyme. But again, just because they didn’t find it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The black legged tick is abundant in Oklahoma.
  • Oklahoma is Ehrlichiosis Central and has many other tick-borne diseases:
    • spotted fever rickettsiosis
    • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
    • STARI (which many experts tell me is simply Lyme)
    • Tularemia
    • Heartland Virus
    • Tick paralysis
    • Anaplasmosis

4 New Published Articles on Ticks

https://lymediseaseassociation.org/news/james-occi-phd-4-new-published-articles-on-ticks/

James L. Occi, PhD: 4 New Published Articles on Ticks

James L. Occi, PhD
James L. Occi, PhD

James L. Occi, PhD, is the lead author of four new published articles regarding ticks over the last three years that have added to the scientific data necessary to understand the spread of ticks and the diseases they carry and transmit in the Northeast and that have provided a basis for moving the field of tick-borne diseases forward.

Jim has been on the Lyme Disease Association’s (LDA) Scientific & Professional Advisory Board since its inception in 1999.  He has been an invaluable resource to the LDA providing lectures, blogs, tick images, and consultations on ticks and the diseases they carry.

LDA Congratulates James Occi (Jim), who recently received his PhD at Rutgers University, the Center for Vector Biology (New Brunswick), and wishes him every success with his future endeavors.  He studied tick-borne diseases in New Jersey tick populations under the direction of Dr. Dina Fonseca and co-authored the below four published research articles for his dissertation.


Annotated List of the Hard Ticks (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae) of New Jersey,” J Med Entomol., April 2019, examines documented cases of hard ticks found in NJ.  After a thorough review of the scientific literature, government documents, and evaluation of tick collections (vouchers) in museums and other repositories, the authors determined there were 11 verifiable species of ticks found in NJ.  Nine are native to North America, while two are invasive (Asian longhorned tick and brown dog tick).  In addition, there are seven tick species that may be present or become established in the future, but confirmation with existing NJ vouchers was not found.

Five tick species were reviewed that were reported in NJ but not found in NJ vouchers or that were found within neighboring states.  The importance of vouchers for tick research and surveillance is discussed.

A detailed statewide tick surveillance program would give public health professionals and physicians information to help protect the public from tick-borne diseases.  They would be knowledgeable about what tick species were present, what the principal hosts were and what pathogens the ticks carry and transmit.  (Click here for published article)


“New Jersey-Wide Survey of Rickettsia (Proteobacteria: Rickettsiaceae) in Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae)” was published in Am J Trop Med Hyg., Sept. 2020, and concludes the increase in Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses (SFGR) in NJ is unlikely to come from D. variabilis.  Infection with the tick-borne R. rickettsia bacterium causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) which can be fatal if left untreated.

Two tick species, that are considered Rickettsia vectors, were collected from all 21 NJ counties.  560 Dermacentor variabilis Say, American dog tick; 245 Amblyomma americanum L., lone star tick; and an additional 394 D. variabilis were collected at different time periods.   Zero D. variabilis and zero A. americanum were found to be infected with Rickettsia rickettsia.  They detected R. montanensis in D. variabilis and R. amblyommatis in A. americanum.

Collaboration among medical doctors, public health professionals, medical entomologists, and diagnostic laboratories will be needed to understand the causes of SFGR east of the Mississippi. What is causing human cases of SFGR in NJ remains unanswered. (Click here for published article)


Carios kelleyi, tick vector, on hand (Photo Credit: J. Occi, Center for Vector Biology, Rutgers Univ.)
‘Carios kelleyi’ on hand (Photo Credit: J. Occi, Center for Vector Biology, Rutgers Univ.)

“First Record of Carios kelleyi (Acari: Ixodida: Argasidae) in New Jersey, United States and Implications for Public Health,” J Med Entomol., March 2021.  Carios kelleyi is a soft tick that is almost exclusively a parasite of bats and had been found in at least 29 states, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, and now in New Jersey.  The nymphs and adults take several short blood meals (min. to hrs.), while the larvae remain attached for several days. Relapsing fever Borrelia is known to come from soft ticks that feed on small rodents, and when bats are removed, ticks begin to seek blood meals from humans.

C. kelleyi has been found infected with a novel spotted fever Rickettsia; a novel relapsing fever-related Borrelia;  Bartonella henselae; and a novel relapsing fever spirochete, identified as Borrelia johnsonii.

Although C. kelleyi is not thought to be an important vector of pathogens, its prevalence in bats in New Jersey is increasing.  This creates the possibility for transmission to humans, animals, and livestock.  New Jersey bats and the pathogens they carry should be monitored to assess the risk to the public. (Click here for published article)


“Ixodes scapularis (Ixodida: Ixodidae) Parasitizing an Unlikely Host: Big Brown Bats, Eptesicus fuscus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae), in New York State, USA,” was published in J Med Entomol, Jan. 2022.  I. scapularis is a three-host tick found throughout the Northeast, Southeast, and Upper Midwest in the U.S  and is the most common vector of tick-borne diseases to humans in North America.  It feeds on over 150 species of terrestrial vertebrates, yet it had not previously been reported to feed on bats.   During 2019 and 2020, injured big brown bats in four locations in rural NY had larvae and nymphs attached to them.  Bats are known to carry a large number of pathogens and these ticks could go from hosting on a bat to hosting on a human. This poses a significant epidemiological risk and should be investigated further.  It also threatens bat species that are at risk. (Click here for published article)

“Super-Fast” Lone Star Ticks Showing up in New Places

https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-sci-super-fast-lone-star-ticks-are-showing-up-in-new-places/

LYME SCI: “Super-fast” lone star ticks are showing up in new places

March 30, 2022

By Lonnie Marcum

The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) has been rapidly expanding its range, from the Southern United States into the Northeast and Midwest.

This tick is a major vector of several viral, bacterial, and protozoan pathogens affecting humans, pets, livestock, birds and other wild animals in the United States. In some Midwestern states, it is commonly known as the “turkey tick” due to its association with wild turkeys. (Childs and Paddock, 2003)

Currently, the lone star tick is known to transmit human ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) and rarely Rocky Mountain spotted fever—one of the deadliest tick-borne diseases in the US.

People bitten by a lone star tick may also develop alpha-gal syndrome—a severe allergy to meat and meat-related products.

A recent crowdsourced science project has documented the largest increase of the lone star tick in decades. Researchers documented new tick encounters in over 300 counties—including six new counties in western states—where these ticks had not been documented before.

TickSpotters program evaluates photos

In a study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers at the University of Rhode Island (URI) evaluated over 9,500 photos submitted between 2014-2019 to the TickSpotters surveillance program.

To document the changes, researchers first identified the ticks in the submitted photos, then logged the county each was reported from. They used this method to plot the geographic ranges of three medically important U.S. tick species: Amblyomma americanum, Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus. The last two are the vectors for Lyme disease.

More than 5,000 photographs of the lone star tick were received from over 1,000 counties across the US. Of those, 341 counties had no previous record of lone star ticks. The largest expansion of the lone star tick was seen in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

In addition, the lone star tick was reported in several counties in the western US, a region not typically associated with these ticks. Notably, it was found in six new counties in California, four counties in Colorado and one new county each in Idaho, Oregon and Utah.

“The causative drivers of these upturns are complex, but have a lot to do with increased host availability, warming temperatures, and moisture availability,” researcher Heather L Kopsco, PhD, told Entomology Today,

Female lone star ticks are identifiable by a single silvery-white spot on the center of their back (scutum.) The male lone star tick is slightly smaller, with varied white streaks or spots around the margins of its body.

Finding Heartland virus in Georgia

Another recent study published in the CDC journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases” found lone star ticks infected by Heartland virus in Georgia. The article points out several major knowledge gaps and the complexity of diseases carried by the lone star tick. (Romer et al, 2022)

“Heartland is an emerging infectious disease that is not well understood,” says Emory University’s Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec PhD, senior author of the study.

Interestingly, the genetic analysis of the Heartland virus from Georgia shows that it is 2%-5% different from previous genetic sequences of the virus.

“These results suggest that the virus may be evolving very rapidly in different geographic locations, or that it may be circulating primarily in isolated areas and not dispersing quickly between those areas,” Vazquez-Prokopec says.

The Heartland virus wasn’t officially named until 2009. However, the CDC has since found evidence of it in wild animals in at least 13 states, including stored samples from deer dating back to 2001. (Clark et al, 2018)

Because the initial symptoms of these tick-borne viruses resemble the flu, and tests for it are not readily available, it is likely being undetected and underreported in humans.

Quick and aggressive

The lone star tick moves quickly and aggressively, says Thomas Mather, PhD, Director of the TickEncounter Resource Center and co-author of the URI study.

“It is super-fast. It can move from below your knees to the top of your head in a matter of seconds.” Mather says it is the tick most frequently found attached to humans in the South.

The greatest risk of being bitten by the adults exists in early spring through fall. Lone star ticks are found mostly in woodlands with dense undergrowth and around animal resting areas, where they will quest on tall grass and low hanging branches.

Nymphal ticks quest lower to the ground but also move fast. If you encounter a patch of larvae, you’ll find they may latch on by the hundreds. Tick Encounters recommends using sticky duct tape to remove these larvae as soon as possible.

Expanding range

The range of the lone star tick in North America has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. Large numbers have been recorded as far to the northeast as Maine, as far to the southeast as Florida, as far south as Mexico and as far west as Colorado. Recently, patchy encounters have also been noted in Canada and the West coast.

Diseases carried by lone star ticks

The following is a list of symptoms of diseases caused by the bite of the lone star tick per the CDC.

Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS)

Reactions can include:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or eye lids
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Severe stomach pain

Symptoms commonly appear 2-6 hours after eating meat or dairy products, or after exposure to products containing alpha-gal (for example, gelatin-coated medications). Personal products that use ingredients containing “hydrolyzed protein,” lanolin, glycerin, collagen, or tallow are particularly problematic.

AGS reactions can differ from person to person and range from mild to severe. Anaphylaxis (a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction involving multiple organ systems) may need urgent medical care.

People may not react after every alpha-gal exposure.

Seek immediate emergency care if you are having a severe allergic reaction.

Bourbon Virus

Scientists are still learning about possible symptoms caused by this virus.

People diagnosed with Bourbon virus disease had symptoms including:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • rash
  • headache
  • other body aches
  • nausea, and

Patients with Bourbon virus will have low blood counts for cells that fight infection and help prevent bleeding.

There is no medicine to treat Bourbon virus disease. Doctors can only treat the symptoms. For example, some patients may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids and treatment for pain and fever. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses.

Ehrlichiosis

Signs and symptoms of ehrlichiosis typically begin 1-2 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. Left untreated, ehrlichiosis can be fatal. Early treatment with doxycycline is highly effective.

Early signs and symptoms (the first 5 days of illness) are usually mild or moderate and may include:

  • Fever, chills
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Rash (more common in children)

About a third of people with ehrlichiosis report a rash, which can look like red splotches or pinpoint dots. This typically develops five days after the fever begins.

Early treatment can reduce your risk of developing severe illness, which can include:

  • Damage to the brain or nervous system (e.g. inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissue (called meningoencephalitis))
  • Respiratory failure
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Organ failure
  • Death
Heartland Virus
  • Most people infected with Heartland virus experience fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain. Many require hospitalization.
  • Some people also have lower than normal counts of white blood cells (cells that help fight infections) and lower than normal counts of platelets (which help clot blood). Sometimes, liver enzymes are elevated.
  • It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear after an infected tick bite.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Early signs and symptoms are not specific to RMSF. However, the disease can rapidly progress to a life-threatening illness.

Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Lack of appetite

While almost all patients with RMSF will develop a rash, it often does not appear early in illness, which can make RMSF difficult to diagnose. RMSF rash usually develops 2-4 days after fever begins. The appearance of the rash can vary widely. Some rashes look like red splotches and some look like pinpoint dots.

Some patients who survive severe RMSF may be left with permanent damage, including amputation of arms, legs, fingers, or toes (from damage to blood vessels in these areas); hearing loss; paralysis; or mental disability.

Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI)

It is not known whether antibiotic treatment is necessary or beneficial for patients with STARI. Nevertheless, because STARI resembles early Lyme disease, physicians will often treat patients with oral antibiotics.

The rash of STARI is a red, expanding “bull’s-eye” lesion that develops around the site of a lone star tick bite. The rash usually appears within seven days of the tick bite and expands to a diameter of three inches or more. The rash should not be confused with much smaller areas of redness and discomfort that can occur commonly at the site of any tick bite.

Patients may also experience fatigue, headache, fever, and muscle pains. The saliva from lone star ticks can be irritating; redness and discomfort at a bite site does not necessarily indicate an infection.

Tularemia

The signs and symptoms of tularemia vary depending on how the bacteria enter the body. Illness ranges from mild to life-threatening. All forms are accompanied by fever, which can be as high as 104 °F.

“Ulceroglandular” is the most common form of tularemia and usually occurs following a tick or deer fly bite or after handing an infected animal. A skin ulcer appears at the site where the bacteria entered the body. The ulcer is accompanied by swelling lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin.

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: lmarcum@lymedisease.org.

References

Childs JE, Paddock CD. (2003) The ascendancy of Amblyomma americanum as a vector of pathogens affecting humans in the United States. Annu Rev Entomol. 48:307-37. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ento.48.091801.112728. Epub 2002 Jun 4. PMID: 12414740.

Clarke, L. L., Ruder, M. G., Mead, D. G., & Howerth, E. W. (2018). Heartland Virus Exposure in White-Tailed Deer in the Southeastern United States, 2001-2015. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 99(5), 1346–1349. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0555

Guzmán-Cornejo C et al (2011) The Amblyomma (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae) of Mexico: identification keys, distribution and hosts. Zootaxa 2998:16–38

Kopsco HL, Duhaime RJ, Mather TN. (2021) Crowdsourced Tick Image-Informed Updates to U.S. County Records of Three Medically Important Tick Species. J Med Entomol.  11:tjab082. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjab082. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33973636.

Monzón, J. D., Atkinson, E. G., Henn, B. M., & Benach, J. L. (2016). Population and Evolutionary Genomics of Amblyomma americanum, an Expanding Arthropod Disease Vector. Genome biology and evolution, 8(5), 1351–1360. https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evw080

Riemersma KK, Komar N. (2015) Heartland Virus Neutralizing Antibodies in Vertebrate Wildlife, United States, 2009-2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 21(10):1830-3. doi: 10.3201/eid2110.150380. PMID: 26401988; PMCID: PMC4593439.

Romer, Y., Adcock, K., Wei, Z., Mead, D. G., Kirstein, O., Bellman, S….Vazquez-Prokopec, G. M. (2022). Isolation of Heartland Virus from Lone Star Ticks, Georgia, USA, 2019. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 28(4), 786-792. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2804.211540.

Springer YP, Eisen L, Beati L, James AM, Eisen RJ. (2014) Spatial distribution of counties in the continental United States with records of occurrence of Amblyomma americanum (Ixodida: Ixodidae). J Med Entomol. Mar;51(2):342-51. doi: 10.1603/me13115. PMID: 24724282; PMCID: PMC4623429.

Steinke J, Platts-Mills T, Commins, S. (2015) The alpha-gal story: lessons learned from connecting the dots. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 135(3): 589-96.

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**Comment**

Great, informative article.  I disagree with the notion that the climate is causing tick movement and proliferation of disease – here’s why:

Ticks will be the last species on the planet besides the IRS.

New Guidance for Treatment of Lyme & Other TBD in Pregnancy

https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-pregnancy-guidance/

New guidance for treatment of Lyme and other TBD in pregnancy

Oct. 27, 2021

from the Lyme Disease Association website:

In a recently published review article,* authors provide a comprehensive summary of treatment options for pregnant patients with less common bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, including several tick-borne diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever).

This review provides guidance to clinicians based on the most recently published evidence-based research and expert recommendations.

The review included a search of MEDLINE (inception to March 2021); clinical practice guidelines (both national and international); the CDC website; and additional references from bibliographies of noteworthy articles. The review also provides a list of medications on the WHO Essential Medications List that are used to treat the above infections (*Alyssa P. Gould et al., Drugs in Context-peer reviewed).

A summary of key treatment recommendations from the review article for several tick-borne diseases during pregnancy are as follows:

Lyme disease:

  • Treatment of gestational Lyme disease is essential to reduce adverse outcomes in pregnancy. The data shows adverse outcomes in treated pregnancy is (11–16%) compared to untreated disease (50–60%).
  • Doxycycline should not routinely be used in pregnancy for Lyme disease in order to avoid adverse side effects including transient suppression of bone growth and staining of developing teeth, especially with proven alternatives.
  • Amoxicillin is the preferred treatment in the absence of neurological manifestations or atrioventricular heart block.
  • Ceftriaxone is typically reserved for patients with severe neurological or cardiac manifestations.
  • One study noted a non-significant increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as pregnancy loss, among orally treated (31.6%) compared to parenterally treated (12.1%) pregnant patients.
  • Alternative oral therapy is cefuroxime axetil and parenteral therapies include penicillin G or cefotaxime.
  • Late Lyme disease (often manifesting as Lyme arthritis) may be managed with oral or parenteral β-lactams.

Ehrlichiosis & Anaplasmosis:

  • If infections with anaplasmosis or ehrlichiosis is suspected, treatment should be initiated due to the likelihood of complications and potential for vertical transmission of disease.
  • Rifampin has shown in vitro activity against ehrlichia and has been used successfully in limited case reports of pregnant women with anaplasmosis.
  • Doxycycline has been used successfully to treat ehrlichiosis.
  • Due to a lack of data, these pregnant patients should be closely monitored for resolution of disease.
  • The addition of amoxicillin or cefuroxime is suggested if coinfection with Lyme disease is suspected, as rifampin does not have activity against B. burgdorferi.

Babesiosis:

  • Patients with suspected babesiosis should be treated due to potential complications, including possible vertical transmission to the fetus.
  • Combination therapy is preferred with clindamycin plus quinine.
  • Longer treatment courses or retreatment may be needed in cases with symptoms and/or parasitaemia persisting >3 months. Resolution of parasitaemia should be used to determine treatment course.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF):

  • RMSF cases are associated with poor outcomes for the fetus, regardless of the treatment.
  • Prevention is crucial for pregnant patients, and treatment should be provided within 3–5 days of exposure.
  • Doxycycline is the preferred therapy. Treatment course is typically 5–7 days or 3 days after fever resolution.
  • Chloramphenicol is a proposed alternative treatment; but there are concerns for significant adverse effects, including myelosuppression, aplastic anaemia, and grey baby syndrome, specifically at or near birth, and it is associated with higher mortality in RMSF. (chloramphenicol is not available orally in the US).

Read the full review article here.

Read other LDA articles regarding treatment here

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

https://entomologytoday.org/2021/08/25/american-dog-ticks-western-new-species-dermacentor-similis/

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)

___________________

**Comment**

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:

IMG_2121

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