Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. Symptoms include fever, headaches, myalgia; characteristic spotted rash* begins on wrists, ankles, palms, and soles, and may be absent early in the disease. Treatment is usually doxycycline. *RMSF rash photo courtesy of Ed Masters, MD. Humans and pets may contract RMSF. […]
Other Tick-Borne Diseases
Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS) cases first appeared in April 2020 in China and since then, 37 more cases have occurred in Jiangsu and 23 in Anhui Provinces in China. SFTS is a haemorrhagic fever transmitted by the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick (Asian longhorned tick). The disease spreads rapidly and has a high fatality rate […]
Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) is also known as Masters Disease. STARI is a disease that looks and acts and is treated like Lyme disease. The causitive agent of STARI is unknown, although some people think the bacterium, Borrellia lonestari, could be the causative agent, and others think it is another form of Lyme disease. […]
Heidi K. Goethert, et al., published, “Incrimination of shrews as a reservoir for Powassan virus,” in Communications Biology. The study examines Powassan virus lineage 2 (deer tick virus), and the growing threat the pathogen poses to American public health. Powassan virus is known to cause severe neurologic disease although its life cycle in nature is poorly understood.
In a recent study conducted in central Pennsylvania, evidence of emerging pathogens, some also common to ticks, have been found in fleas. Various pathogens can be spread by ectoparasites among animal host populations in nature. Along with ticks, fleas are found to commonly infest small mammals. The role of pathogen transmission cycles for these vectors is unknown. Only the white footed mouse tested positive for the blood‐borne pathogens examined, with 47 (18.1%) positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum and ten (4.8%) positive for Babesia microti. Other pathogens included Bartonella vinsonii, B. microti, and a Rickettsia felis‐like bacterium.
New study summarizes human surveillance data from 2011-2018 in the United States for Babesia infections reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Data shows an increasing trend of reported Babesia cases (14,159 total) during this time period, with white men in the middle and […]
Tick paralysis Caused by a neurotoxin secreted by Dermacentor variabilis (American dog), Dermacentor andersoni (Rocky Mt. wood), Ixodes scapularis (deer/blacklegged), and Amblyomma americanum (lone star ticks). Symptoms begin 2-6 days after attachment and primarily involve a paralysis that begins in the feet and spreads upward. May be fatal if respiratory muscles involved. Paralysis resolves when tick […]
Nature Microbiology recently published an article where researchers identified a sugar that influences cell wall function in Borrelia spirochetes. Authors state that Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria produces glycan chains in the cell wall where MurNAc is occasionally replaced with an unknown sugar. Investigators identified that B. burgdorferi produces glycans that contain GlcNAc–GlcNAc. Chitobiose is the unusual disaccharide, […]
Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule found in most mammals (not people, apes, monkeys) and in products made from mammals including medications, vaccines, cosmetics, gelatin and milk products. It is not normally found in fish, reptiles or birds. Alpha gal is also found in some types of ticks. Click here for CDC website on Alpha-gal What […]
Caused by a bacteria (either Borrelia hermsii, turicatae, or parkeri) and transmitted by the soft bodied tick, Ornithodoros (either hermsi, turicata, or parkeri). The disease is characterized by recurring episodes (3 days on 7 off) of high fever, can be up to 106.7° during certain phases. Each fever episode is followed by signs/symptoms which may […]