Archive for the ‘Ticks’ Category

Detection & Transstadial Passage of Babesia Species and Borrelia Burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ticks Collected From Avian and Mammalian Hosts in Canada

Detection and Transstadial Passage of Babesia Species and Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ticks Collected from Avian and Mammalian Hosts in Canada 

John D. Scott 1,*, Kerry L. Clark 2, Nikki M. Coble 2 and Taylor R. Ballantyne

Received: 24 October 2019; Accepted: 26 November 2019; Published: 2 December 2019 

Abstract: Lyme disease and human babesiosis are the most common tick-borne zoonoses in the Temperate Zone of North America. The number of infected patients has continued to rise globally, and these zoonoses pose a major healthcare threat. This tick-host-pathogen study was conducted to test for infectious microbes associated with Lyme disease and human babesiosis in Canada. Using the flagellin (flaB) gene, three members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bbsl) complex were detected, namely a Borrelia lanei-like spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (Bbss), and a distinct strain that may represent a separate Bbsl genospecies. This novel Bbsl strain was detected in a mouse tick, Ixodes muris, collected from a House Wren, Troglodytes aedon, in Quebec during the southward fall migration. The presence of Bbsl in bird-feeding larvae of I. muris suggests reservoir competency in three passerines (i.e., Common Yellowthroat, House Wren, Magnolia Warbler). Based on the 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene, three Babesia species (i.e., Babesia divergens-like, Babesia microti, Babesia odocoilei) were detected in field-collected ticks. Not only was B. odocoilei found in songbird-derived ticks, this piroplasm was apparent in adult questing blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, in southern Canada. By allowing live, engorged ticks to molt, we confirm the transstadial passage of Bbsl in I. muris and B. odocoilei in I. scapularis. Bbss and Babesia microti were detected concurrently in a groundhog tick, Ixodes cookei, in Western Ontario. In Alberta, a winter tick, Dermacentor albipictus, which was collected from a moose, Alces alces, tested positive for Bbss. Notably, a B. divergens-like piroplasm was detected in a rabbit tick, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, collected from an eastern cottontail in southern Manitoba; this Babesia species is a first-time discovery in Canada. This rabbit tick was also co-infected with Borrelia lanei-like spirochetes, which constitutes a first in Canada. Overall, five ticks were concurrently infected with Babesia and Bbsl pathogens and, after the molt, could potentially co-infect humans.

Notably, we provide the first authentic report of I. scapularis ticks co-infected with Bbsl and B. odocoilei in Canada.

The full extent of infectious microorganisms transmitted to humans by ticks is not fully elucidated, and clinicians need to be aware of the complexity of these tick-transmitted enzootic agents on human health. Diagnosis and treatment must be administered by those with accredited medical training in tick-borne zoonosis. 

Full article: Scott et al., 2019, Babesia spp. and Borrelia spp., Canada

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( 



Transstadial passage is the ability of an infection to pass from one one developmental stage of an organism to another, e.g.,from the larval to the nymph stage or from the nymph to the adult:

In this report the authors confirm the transstadial passage of Bbsl in I. muris and B. odocoilei in I. scapularis (black legged deer tick).

According to the following 2000 article, Ixodes muris is also capable of transmitting Lyme disease:–Ixodidae-for-Borrelia/10.1603/0022-2585-37.5.766.short

Also, the following 2014 article states, “early studies revealed a higher ratio of presumed nonpathogenic B. odocolei to B. microti in areas where these species co-exist.”

I think it would be folly to presume anything, and the potential of B. odocoilei to be of concern to human health is relevant. In my opinion, far too much as been presumed about the ability of various ticks to transmit disease, the time it takes to transmit, as well as the ability of numerous strains of pathogens to be of human health concern.

A few things are for sure: more and more is coming out on the coinfection of ticks, that there are many strains and variations of these pathogens to be concerned with, and that current testing is abysmal in picking much of this up.  These issues are some of the factors as to why people remain ill.  Mainstream medicine must awaken from its coma to embrace the complexity of all of this or patients will continue to suffer.



Being a Sexual Health Doctor in ‘Chlamydia Capital’ of New Zealand  Video and full article here

Being a sexual health doctor in ‘chlamydia capital’ of New Zealand


“She got interested in sexual health field in her first year as a doctor when one of her patient’s joint problems were a complication from chlamydia.

‘I had no idea – until that point – that was a thing,’ she said. ‘There’s the slightly nerdy bit of seeing something interesting and fascinating. But also the shame that young person had, that really touched me.'”



I include this information because Chlamydia and borrelia mixed biofilms have been found in infected skin tissue: Excerpt:

Chlamydia antigen and DNA in 84% of Borrelia biofilms. Confocal microscopy revealed that Chlamydia locates in the center of Borrelia biofilms, and together, they form a well-organized mixed pathogenic structure.

Chlamydia-like organisms are in ticks:

Here, researchers identify chlamydia along with other pathogens in Alzheimer’s:


Great read on the types of chlamydia: The first two are mentioned in the abstract:

  • Chlamydia trachomatis can be passed from one person to another via unprotected sexual intercourse. Pain English: this is a STD.
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae), a nonsexually transmitted disease that infects the lungs and causes bacterial pneumonia.
  • Chlamydia psittaci is another chlamydia strain that can lead to a rare condition called psittacosis, aka “parrot fever.”

7 Ways You’re Unknowingly Putting Yourself At Risk For Lyme Disease

7 Ways you’re unknowingly putting yourself at risk for Lyme disease

Image: 7 Ways you’re unknowingly putting yourself at risk for Lyme disease

(Natural News) After going outside, it may be best to do a tick check. Lyme disease is a dangerous condition that causes fever, rashes, face paralysis, and arthritis. Without proper care, it can even lead to death. Interestingly, something so deadly comes from the bite of something so small: ticks.

Ticks are tiny arachnids commonly found in grassy, woodland areas where they attach themselves to a host. They are commonly associated with deer and other kinds of game found in the wild. However, they are not only found in woods and forests; they can thrive in cities as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 Americans are infected each year. They are especially plentiful from May to August when they are most active and a lot of people spend time outdoors.

Lia Gaertner, a scientist and board member of the Bay Lyme Area Foundation, pointed out that there are habits that put people at risk of Lyme disease. (Related: Lyme disease compromises your body’s ability to detoxify, increasing risk from environmental toxins like heavy metals.)

1. Not doing a tick check

After going outdoors, search your body for any ticks that may have latched on. Check areas that are exposed or close to clothing edges. Ticks prefer warm areas on the body, including:

  • The armpits
  • In and around the ears
  • Back of the knees
  • Inside the belly button
  • Around the waist
  • In and around all head and body hair (especially the scalp and groin area)

Make sure to also check used clothes before putting them in the hamper. Take a bath afterward for extra measure.

Children are especially vulnerable to tick bites because they play a lot and are closer to the ground. Teach them how to conduct tick checks on their body and their clothes.

2. Being unfamiliar to what a tick looks like

It is difficult to spot a tick when you are unaware of how it looks like. Ticks look like bulb-shaped spiders. It is easy to miss them since they embed themselves into the skin.

You can spot them by feeling a small bump while patting a pet or combing one’s hair. Ticks commonly have a dark color, but there are lighter varieties.

When planning for a hike or camping somewhere in the woods, it is best to do prior research on known ticks found in the area and prepare promptly.

3. Sleeping with your dog with no tick check

Some people prefer to sleep with their pets. Before doing that, however, do not skimp on conducting a tick check. Pets, like children, are vulnerable to tick bites because they often go out and are close to the ground.

4. Lowering your guard in city parks

People like lying on the grass or against trees in city parks, which makes them more vulnerable to tick bites. Lay a picnic mat before lying on the grass. Make sure to check the mat afterward upon getting home.

5. Raking leaves

Ticks can be found in tall grasses, but they hide under fallen leaves as well. This is especially the case in Southern states, where it is generally hotter.

When raking leaves, wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants. Spray some natural insect repellent, like citronella or lavender essential oil, at the cuffs and other holes where a tick can slip inside the clothes.

6. Thinking you’re safe in a place with no deer

It is a common misconception that ticks only attach themselves to deer, but mice, squirrels, and other animals can be carriers as well. In general, places with grassy and forested areas are more likely to have ticks, but when these animals reach the city, they can carry the ticks with them.

7. Throwing away the tick

If you find a tick attached to you, do not just throw it away. Carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers and lock it inside a container, like a sealing bag or small plastic container. Send it for testing to find out if it was infected or not. If it was, you can implement measures to prevent Lyme disease from developing.

It is impossible to completely remove ticks from residential or camping areas. However, you can implement measures that can prevent their bites. Avoid the listed habits and learn more about treating and preventing Lyme disease at

Sources include:


For more:

Regarding raking leaves – ticks love leaf litter. They also love bark mulch.  They love anything that provides humidity.  For example – Japanese barberry, a common yard shrub is a perfect habitat for ticks:  Bizarrely enough, this particular shrub is the source of Berberine, an herb that obtains high amounts of resveratrol – which does so many great things for the body:

Ticks evidently love pumpkin patches too:

When you are partaking in nature – use permethrin on all your clothing and shoes:

Use either Deet or Picaradin on skin. (See first link for information on products)


Tick-born Parasite Found in Scottish Sheep in UK First

Tick-borne parasite found in Scottish sheep in UK first

20 November 2019
A tick on human skinImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe tick-borne parasite causes a disease called babesiosis

An exotic and potentially deadly tick-borne parasite has been found in the UK for the first time.

A study conducted by the University of Glasgow found the parasite in sheep in the north east of Scotland.

This is the first time the organism, called Babesia venatorum, has ever been found in sheep anywhere in the world.

The parasite causes a disease called babesiosis which is recognised as an emerging infection in human health.

It has been extensively recorded in China and in Europe with two human infections confirmed in Italy in the last 20 years.

Babesiosis is treatable in most cases, although this depends on rapid and accurate diagnosis.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said infected people may get symptoms such as flu and jaundice but severe cases can lead to death.

Scientists believed the risk of people contracting this infection however is believed to be low.

‘A new risk’

Researchers targeted areas where tick-borne viruses had been previously detected and collected blood from sheep, cattle and deer.

Scientists believed the parasite could have travelled to the north east of Scotland via migrating birds from Scandinavian countries.


For more:

Migrating birds are transporting ticks all over the place.

Ticks Removed From Humans in Northwestern Italy – 30% Had Babesia

Survey on tick-borne pathogens in ticks removed from humans in Northwestern Italy


Ticks have a considerable importance for public health.

Few data are present about ticks collected from humans.

128 ticks from 92 patients were analysed.

Almost 30% of the analysed tick pools were positive for Babesia spp.

The zoonotic species Babesia venatorum was the most prevalent species observed.


Ticks are able to transmit several pathogens to the host while feeding, and thus are considered the most important vectors of infectious agents together with mosquitos. The global incidence of tick-borne diseases (TBDs) is rising, due to increased interactions between pathogens, hosts and vectors, linked to global changes. Given that information about the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in ticks removed from humans in Italy are scarce, the aim of the present study was to identify the species of ticks biting humans in Northwestern Italy and tick-borne pathogens they harbour. An overall number of 128 ticks from 92 patients were collected from April to October 2018, almost 98% of which belonging to the Ixodes ricinus species. Molecular analysis showed the presence of Babesia spp. in 29 out of 93 analysed tick pools, with a Minimum Infection Rate (MIR) of 31.18% (29/93; CI95% 22.67–41.19%), while 1 out of 93 pools tested positive for SFG Rickettsiae (MIR = 1.08%; CI95% 0.19–5.84%). No samples tested positive for A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. Sequencing revealed the presence of Babesia venatorum (28 pools), Theileria buffeli/orientalis complex (1 pool) and Rickettsia monacensis. Among these, B. venatorum and R. monacensis are zoonotic pathogens able to cause from moderate to severe infections in humans. These data highlight the importance of passive surveillance to assess the epidemiology of TBDs that pose a threat to human health.



Ixodes ricinus or the Castor Bean tick, sheep tick, or deer tick is considered a European hard-bodied tick; however, please note that migrating birds are transporting ticks all over the place.

It transmits numerous pathogens of medical and veterinary importance including Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. causing Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis virus, Anaplasma phagocytophilum causing human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, Francisella tularensis causing Tularaemia, Rickettsia helvetica and Rickettsia monacensis, Babesia divergens and Babesia microti responsible for Babesiosis, Louping ill virus and Tribec virus.

The fact that 30% of ticks had Babesia should cause all doctors to pause and consider.


New Bartonella Species Found in Tick From Senegal

. 2019 Nov; 32: 100596.
Published online 2019 Aug 27. doi: 10.1016/j.nmni.2019.100596
PMCID: PMC6839013
PMID: 31719993

Bartonella massiliensis sp. nov., a new bacterial species isolated from an Ornithodoros sonrai tick from Senegal


Bartonella is the monotypic genus of the family Bartonellaceae among Alphaproteobacteria . Bartonella species are fastidious Gram-negative, slightly curved rod bacteria characterized by a small cell size (0.5–0.6 × 1.0 μm) . They are facultative intracellular bacteria with a unique intraerythrocyte lifestyle. Currently the Bartonella genus includes 35 validly published species and three subspecies , . Bartonella species usually colonize the intestine of the arthropod vector or the bloodstream of the mammalian host , . In addition, our understanding of the involvement of these microorganisms in human diseases continues to grow, as does the range of clinical manifestations , . At least 13 Bartonella species are responsible for human diseases, including B. bacilliformis, B. quintana and B. henselae, which cause Carrión disease, trench fever and cat-scratch disease respectively. Bartonella species are also associated with chronic bacteraemia and/or endocarditis, bacillary angiomatosis, peliosis hepatis, prolonged fever of unknown origin, retinitis, uveitis and myocarditis in humans . Other mammalian species that may host Bartonella species include dogs, coyotes, foxes, cattle, deer, elk, bats and many rodent species , , .

Here we present the description of Bartonella massiliensis strain OS09T (= CSURB624T = DSM 23169), a new species of the genus Bartonella isolated from a soft tick, Ornithodoros sonrai, including its complete annotated genome.


For more:


Yarmouth Horse Owner Spreads Word About Little-known Tick-borne Disease

Nova Scotia

Yarmouth horse owner spreads word about little-known tick-borne disease

Sarah LeBlanc’s horse, Sloane, was recently diagnosed with anaplasma

Sarah LeBlanc with her 10-year-old barrel racing horse, Sloane. (Submitted by Sarah LeBlanc)

A Yarmouth, N.S., horse owner wants others to know about anaplasma, a tick-borne disease that her horse, Sloane, contracted before Halloween.

“If you see swollen legs on your horse, it means something, do something,” said Sarah LeBlanc, Sloane’s owner.

Anaplasma causes serious fevers, loss of appetite and swollen and painful limbs. If a fever is left untreated, it can lead to other complications like laminitis, which can damage a horse’s hooves. Anaplasma is rarely fatal and usually responds well to treatment.

On Monday, LeBlanc received confirmation that a blood test determined Sloane had anaplasma and Lyme disease.

LeBlanc said she first realized something was wrong with her 10-year-old barrel racing horse last Wednesday.

Sloane is responding well to treatment of anaplasma. Her owner, Sarah LeBlanc, says she first knew something was wrong when she saw Sloane’s legs were swollen. (Submitted by Sarah LeBlanc)

“If you have a horse with four swollen legs, it’s not the result of an injury, it’s got to be the result of a side effect or something,” LeBlanc said. “And so I thought I would give it 24 hours to see if it goes away on its own.”

Swollen legs aside, LeBlanc said Sloane seemed pretty normal and she was still eating.

But when a horse farrier, a person whose job it is to put horseshoes on horses, saw Sloane that night, she was advised to speak with a vet as soon as possible.

LeBlanc called Dr. Megan Crouse, a veterinarian from the South Shore Veterinary Services in Wileville, N.S., and described the symptoms. Crouse told her it could be anaplasma, a disease LeBlanc had never heard of.

Crouse told CBC News in an email that anaplasma pops up at this time of year. She said it can be treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications and supportive care.

Local vet sees uptick in anaplasma cases

Crouse said her clinic has treated between 10 to 12 cases this year and all have been in the last four weeks. She said it is spread through tick bites.

“The carrier must bite and be attached for 24 to 48 hours to spread infection,” Crouse said.

Tick prevention is key.

“Things such as keeping pastures clipped short, using fly/tick repellent daily, daily thorough tick checks are all things to help prevent exposure,” she said.

LeBlanc said she always checks Sloane and her other horse for ticks. She said there are a lot of them in her area.

“I’ve been picking hundreds of the ticks off the horses,” she said.

LeBlanc posted about the ordeal on Facebook last week and as of Monday, it has been shared about 500 times.

“It’s an illness, it’s a disease and you just can’t ignore it and let it go untreated,” she said.

The good news, LeBlanc said, is Sloane’s temperature continues to be normal and she’s responding well to the medicine.

“She seems happy and content, so she is certainly on the road to recovery,” she said.


For more on Anaplasma: