South Carolina Asian Longhorned Tick Study Shows Pathogen Prevalence

Journal of Medical Entomology (Dye-Braumuller, K.C., et al.) 9.2.2023 published “Invasive Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) investigation in South Carolina: new records of establishment, pathogen prevalence, and blood meal analyses.” The study investigated the pathogen infection prevalence and blood meal preferences of Asian longhorned ticks following their discovery in a northern South Carolina county in June 2022.

Asian Longhorned Tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis
Asian Longhorned Ticks; Photo courtesy James Occi, PhD

Nearly 2,000 Ha. longicornis ticks were collected from a single cattle field with a majority showing evidence of cattle and dog blood meals. Several samples tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and Theileria orientalis which is the first time in South Carolina these pathogens have been reported in this tick species.

The study was coordinated as a direct result of an education campaign and tick surveillance program launched earlier in the year with multiple collaborating state partners. Questions about the spread of this tick, and the pathogens it carries, remain. Surveillance of this invasive species and its impact on veterinary and public health is ongoing.

For more information:

Read the Journal of Medical Entomology study.

Read more about the Asian longhorned tick on the LDA website.