Ticks

Asian Tick Invading America Is a Mystery to Lyme Experts, Daily Beast, Aug 22, 2018There’s a new tick crawling around the Eastern half of the United States: the long-horned tick, an invasive species from Eastern Asia that’s been spotted increasingly in urban areas like Staten Island in New York, along with New Jersey, Virginia, and all the way down to Arkansas. But unlike the black-legged tick, whose travel patterns, host preferences, and habitat are well-known, scientists are struggling to answer even the most basic questions about its Asian relative. We don’t yet know how the long-horned tick came to the United States, how it’s spreading, or what it’s capable of doing. All we know is that it’s here.

Landscape Features Associated With Blacklegged Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) Density and Tick-Borne Pathogen Prevalence at Multiple Spatial Scales in Central New York State, Journal of Medical Entomology, July 18, 2018Blacklegged ticks are the most commonly encountered and medically relevant tick species in New York State and have exhibited recent geographic range expansion. Forests and adjacent habitat are important determinants of I. scapularis density and may influence tick-borne pathogen prevalence. We examined how percent forest cover, dominant land cover type, and habitat type influenced I. scapularis nymph and adult density, and associated tick-borne pathogen prevalence, in an inland Lyme-emergent region of NY. I. scapularis nymphs and adults were collected from edge and wooded habitats using tick drags at 16 sites in Onondaga County, NY in 2015 and 2016. A subsample of ticks from each site was tested for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti using a novel multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and deer tick virus using reverse transcription–PCR. Habitat type (wooded versus edge) was an important determinant of tick density; however. B.burgdorferi was the most commonly detected pathogen and was present in ticks from all sites. Ticks infected with A. phagocytophilum and B. miyamotoi were collected more often in urban environments. Similarity between B. burgdorferi prevalence in Onondaga County and hyperendemic areas of southeastern NY indicates a more rapid emergence than expected in a relatively naive region.

An Invasive New Tick Is Spreading in the U.S., New York Times, Aug 6, 2018Although domestic American ticks are a growing menace and transmit a dozen pathogens, no long-horned ticks here have yet been found with any human diseases. In Asia, however, the species carries a virus that kills 15 percent of its victims. In East Asia, long-horned ticks do carry pathogens related to Lyme and others found in North America. But the biggest threat is a phlebovirus that causes S.F.T.S., for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

New tick in Pa. could cause year-round problems, York Daily Record, Aug 2 2018A longhorned tick, not native to the United States, was discovered on a deer that was being tested for Chronic Wasting Disease in Centre County. State Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Shannon Powers said the longhorned tick has probably been in Pennsylvania for much longer, given its undetectability to the naked eye. One of the distinct features of the longhorned tick is its ability to survive winter conditions, forcing outdoor enthusiasts to check for ticks year round. Any hopes of containing the spread of the longhorned tick might be futile, as they are able to reproduce asexually, opening up the potential for massive growth.

Reconciling the Entomological Hazard and Disease Risk in the Lyme Disease System, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, May 22, 2018Lyme disease (LD) is a commonly cited model for the link between habitat loss and/or fragmentation and disease emergence, based in part on studies showing that forest patch size is negatively related to LDentomological risk. An equivalent relationship has not, however, been shown between patch size and LD incidence (LDI). Because entomological risk is measured at the patch scale, while LDI is generally assessed in relation to aggregate landscape statistics such as forest cover, we posit that the contribution of individual patches to human LD risk has not yet been directly evaluated.

Ticks in Ohio, Ohio DNR, 2018Blacklegged ticks are active throughout the year in Ohio. The adults are active in the spring, fall and winter. The nymphs are active in the spring and summer and the larvae are active late summer. The onset of human Lyme disease cases occurs year round in Ohio but peaks in summer following the emergence of nymphs.

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