Lyme Disease in the US: the host “did it”!

January 27, 2021 Ginsberg and colleagues [Graham Hickling, Jen Tsao, Lauren Maestas, Lorenza Beati] and many others] published a broad evaluation of the factors that drive differences in Lyme disease between northern and southern eastern US states. They found that prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, in Ixodes scapularis ticks, its primary vector in the eastern US, is driven by host choice. In northern states, I. scapularis larvae and nymphs feed on small mammals that are good hosts of the Lyme spirochete. In contrast, in the south, I. scapularis feeds predominantly on lizards that are inefficient hosts. Because lizards are fossorial southern ticks do not need to quest on grass or bushes and are therefore less likely to latch on and infect humans. Read the full article by clicking on the date (above).

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