1

Tick Testing & Identification

Tick testing-ticks in airtight containerThere are places where the public can have tick testing conducted and/or identified to see if they contain the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and/or other disease organisms that can infect humans or pets. There are generally charges for these services.

LDA does not make recommendations:

  • whether you should have ticks tested
  • about specific testing or identification facilities
  • about the reliability of tick testing
  • whether you should wait for the results before seeking/getting treatment
  • whether you should base your treatment on your tick testing results

*Above items are decisions that need to be made by you after reviewing material on the topic and discussing the benefits/risks with a professional.

Save tick alive if possible. Do NOT put in tape. Place in airtight container or zip lock bag. Check with the labs for proper packaging and mailing of the ticks, the types of organisms tested for and the associated costs.

Tick-testing lab examples from Lyme Disease Association’s LymeR Primer brochure

IGeneX Labs- Click Here MDL- Click Here NJ Labs- Click Here Clongen Laboratories- Click Here 


Additional Tick Identification and Testing Laboratories

Nationwide Services
 
APHC-Army Public Health Center (For Department of Defense personnel and their dependents ONLY)- Click Here
 
Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab- Click Here 
 
Cornell University- Click Here 
 
TickCheck- Click Here 
 
Ticknology- Click Here 
 
Tick Report-Click Here   
 
Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania (FREE Identification, Testing for fee)- Click Here 

Additional Tick Identification and/or Testing Laboratories

Specific State Resident Services

NJ Residents: NJ Ticks 4 Science!-  Click Here
 
Connecticut Residents: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station- Click Here 
 
Maine Residents:
University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Tick Lab- Click Here 
 
New York Residents:
Thangamani Lab-SUNY Upstate Medical University (FREE)- Click Here
 
Kentucky Residents:
Entomology at the University of Kentucky- Click here
 

Tick Identification Services Only*

Nationwide
 
Tick Encounter- Click Here 
 
TickTracker (Tracking & Reporting App)- Click Here 
 
Specific State Resident Services
Colorado: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (FREE for Colorado Veterinarians)- Click Here 
 
Illinois: Illinois Department of Health working with University of Illinois- Click Here
 
Maryland: 
Maryland Department of Health/University of Maryland- Click Here
 
Michigan: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (FREE for Michigan Residents)- Click Here 
 
Midwest (Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin): Midwest Center of Excellence @UW-Madison(FREE for Midwest Residents)- Click Here 

New Jersey: Monmouth County (NJ) Mosquito Control Division (Monmouth County Residents ONLY)- Click Here

New Hampshire: New Hampshire (FREE for New Hampshire Residents)- Click Here

Vermont: Vermont (FREE for Vermont Residents)- Click Here 


*As services may change, check with your own State or County health department on what services they may provide.
Search State Health Departments The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a list of all State and Territorial Health Department Websites here.
 
 



Student with Impetus for Tick Stik Partners with Univ. Students on Development

Early Tick Stik Prototype
Early Tick Stik prototype developed by Delaney Dixon and BU students. Final will look different. See pre-order link below.
(photo credit: Lyme Disease Association, Inc.)

HISTORY: Delaney Dixon, a 6th grade Windsor, NY student contracted Lyme disease in 2017 following an undetected tick bite. It took her several years of treatment to recover, and she was experiencing anxiety about being bitten again. This experience inspired Delaney to come up with a device that checks for ticks in hard-to-reach places on the body and removes them.

IDEA FORMS: Delaney began sketching her ideas along with her father, Chris Dixon. They developed a prototype called “Tick Stik,” a retractable wand with a flexible head and an HD camera.  Chris contacted Binghamton University to explore collaboration on the device.  Students at the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University had been assigned capstone projects designed to solve real-world problems as part of their graduation requirements. Seniors Salvatore Mezzatesta, Jung Wok Oh, Justin Adamczak, and advisor, Associate Professor Peter Huang, agreed to further develop the idea.

Participants at Tick Stik Debut at Binghamton University
(Front row L-R) Andy Heininger, LDA Volunteer of the Southern Tier; Professor Peter Huang, Senior Project Advisor at BU; Assemblywoman Lupardo; Delaney Dixon; Jung Wok Oh; Ed Hickey, Congresswoman Tenney’s office; (Back row L-R) Salvatore Mezzatesta; Justin Adamczak
(Photo Credit: Chris Kocher, Binghamton Univ.)

DEVICE DEBUT: Delaney and BU students worked relentlessly on design and implementation throughout the school year. May 6, 2022, the campus unveiling of Tick Stik occurred. The BU students explained the project, their process, and how they got involved followed by a detailed demonstration of the prototype and next steps to production.

The Office of Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, represented by Ed Hickey, acknowledged the students for their outstanding efforts.  NY Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo also recognized the students for their hard work and ingenuity. They both spoke about how each of their families has battled Lyme disease.

WHAT’S NEXT:  A final prototype has been chosen to bring to market — arrangements have been made with a manufacturer for production and initial funding has been raised.  Testing is the next hurdle and will likely be done via a local community Facebook alert.  Neighbors who are bitten will contact the Dixons and will receive a Tick Stik to use.  If this small test works in a real tick bite situation, they will move forward to the production stage.   You can pre-order now on their website and when they are ready to ship the product you will get an email requesting payment.

LDA’s ROLE: Andy Heininger, Southern Tier, representing Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA), read a statement from LDA President Pat Smith on the students’ accomplishments: “The enthusiasm, dedication, and intellect exhibited by this group to solve a problem which can help thousands of people avoid developing Lyme or another tick-borne disease or can lead to an early diagnosis, lends hope for many who spend significant amounts of time in the outdoors for recreation or work. Tick-borne diseases may one day become a scourge of the past.”  LDA provided Certificates of Appreciation & Accomplishments to the students. Informational brochures, and green ribbons representing Lyme Disease Awareness, were provided to all event attendees.

The LDA has a long history of advocacy work in the Southern Tier with Lyme Walk, presentations to schools, public talks at Corning, and informational meetings with legislators. When the LDA learned of Delaney’s Tick Stik idea, the LDA contacted her to see how it could help promote the device. May Lyme Awareness Month is the perfect time as ticks are very prevalent in feeding.  LDA hopes the device will be on the market in the near future.

 “The Lyme Disease Association Inc, (LDA) a national non-profit dedicated to raising funds to educate, to perform research, and to support patients for over 31 years, congratulates all who have had the foresight to be involved in this project, and LDA is pleased as part of its mission to spread the word not only about Tick Stik itself, but also about the fact that creative ideas to help people often come from the grass roots and from our youth, partnering with others to move these ideas into fruition.” – Pat Smith, President, LDA.

NOTE:   NYS Senator Sue Serino awarded Resolution J2633 – Commending Delaney Dixon for her innovative approach to addressing the Lyme and tick-borne disease crisis.


For more information on the Tick Stik visit the following website:

Tick Stik website (pre-order, now)

NOTE: The LDA provides information on products but does not make product recommendations 


Media coverage:

Channel 12, “Binghamton University students complete ‘Tick Stik’ tool”

Channel 12, “Tool invented to prevent tick-borne diseases completed by young engineers”

Twin Tiers, “Southern Tier 6th grader designs ‘Tick Stik’”

Windsor Central School District, “Tick Stik Debut”

Binghamton University – Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science Facebook Page

Congresswoman Tenney Facebook Page

Assemblywoman Lupardo Facebook Page

 


More information from LDA:

LDA, Pat Smith, Statement

LDA May Awareness Blogs

LDA Informational Brochures


Photo Gallery:  Click on image for description

ngg_shortcode_0_placeholder




Maryland Department of Health Warns Doctors About Lyme

In a letter to physicians, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) warns doctors to pay attention to Lyme which is the most frequently diagnosed tick-borne disease (TBD) in Maryland residents (1400 cases 2019). The MDH also cautions them to report other TBDs, which it specifically names. The letter also points out the similarities of Lyme symptoms to COVID 19 symptoms and reminds providers of obligation to report the required TBDs.

Tick bite prevention tips are offered, and a Maryland Tick Identification Service is provided in the letter. https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/OIDEOR/CZVBD/Pages/Tick-Identification.aspx

Read full letter here  

Read more LDA articles on Maryland here




Tick Removal

Tick Removal Video provided by University of Manitoba
Kateryn Rochon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Veterinary Entomology

No tick bite is a good tick bite!  Frequent tick checks allow for detection of ticks quickly. The sooner a tick is removed properly, the less chance of disease transmission. Watch video below to view proper tick removal. 

LDA Comments

The tick shown in video is not a black-legged/deer tick. The LDA provides this video to show proper tick removal, but has no role in video production. Any comments on the video itself should be directed to  the University of Manitoba


Information below is from Lyme Disease Association’s LymeR Primer brochure. 
Click here to
download brochure.

Improper removal of ticks greatly increases the risk of acquiring tick-borne infections. Squeezing the tick or putting substances on the tick to try to make it “back out” may aggravate it enough that it injects into you whatever disease organisms are inside it.

      LDA Tick Removal copyDo not  burn or use any substance on tick

      Do not grasp, squeeze, or twist body of tick

      Grasp tick close to the skin with tweezers

      Pull tick straight out 

      Use antiseptic on skin

      Disinfect tweezers

      Wash hands thoroughly

      Always see a physician for possible diagnosis, testing, and treatment

      If desired, can save tick for testing, preferably alive, in a zippered plastic bag or a closed container with a moist cotton ball.  

 

 




Improved Lyme Testing Allows for Earlier Diagnosis

SchutzerSteven Schutzer, MDIt is well known to the medical community that Lyme disease testing methods are highly inaccurate. The only FDA approved Lyme tests available are antibody-based tests, which are the current standard, but are known to produce both false positives, and the more devastating false negatives. For example, it can take weeks for antibody levels to reach a point where they are detectable, resulting in a negative lab result. Many antibodies are cross-reactive to other bacteria not associated with Lyme disease, clouding diagnosis. These tests were created decades ago, with old technology, and omit important information.

Unfortunately, most medical providers rely solely on this flawed testing to make a diagnosis, and many Lyme cases go untreated, developing into serious health complications.

Addressing the issue, Steven Schutzer, a physician-scientist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School organized a meeting of scientists from Rutgers University, Harvard University, Yale University, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health and other academic centers, industry and public health agencies. The meeting took place at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Banbury Center, a nonprofit research institution in New York. This meeting resulted in an analysis published on December 7 in Clinical Infectious Diseases which focuses on new scientific advances in testing.

“New tests are at hand that offer more accurate, less ambiguous test results that can yield actionable results in a timely fashion,” said Schutzer. “Improved tests will allow for earlier diagnosis, which should improve patient outcomes.”

We look forward to these new tests.

Read article in Rutgers Today here