Ticks that vector Lyme disease move west into North Dakota

September 11, 2014

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. Last year, most Lyme disease cases reported to the CDC were concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest, with 96 percent of cases in 13 states. In fact, the disease gets its name from the northeastern town of Lyme, Connecticut, where it was first discovered.

However, a new article published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that the ticks that vector Lyme disease—Ixodes scapularis, also known as or deer ticks—are moving westward, and for the first time have been found to be established in North Dakota. Even worse, that were infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) were found as well.

Researchers sampled ticks at nine locations throughout North Dakota by trapping small mammals and then removing the attached ticks. When they found I. scapularis, they screened them for Borrelia burgdorferi and for two other types of bacteria that can lead to two other tick-borne diseases called Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis.

I. scapularis ticks were collected in six of the nine counties surveyed, and two of the counties seemed to have established poulations because all life stages—eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults—were present.

"This represents an expansion of the predicted range for this tick species and is of concern because of the ability of this tick species to transmit various disease-causing agents," the authors wrote. "I. scapularis and associated pathogens have become established in northeastern North Dakota."

Explore further: Fewer deer may mean less Lyme disease

More information: The full article is available at dx.doi.org/10.1603/ME14053

Related Stories

Fewer deer may mean less Lyme disease

July 1, 2014
Since white-tailed deer serve as the primary host for the adult blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis)—the vector for Lyme disease—scientists have wondered whether reducing the number of deer in a given area would also ...

Key to Lyme disease's locale may be found in the gut of a tick

January 16, 2014
The prevalence of Lyme disease varies greatly between different locales throughout the Northeast, even though the deer ticks that transmit Lyme bacterium are common throughout the entire region.

Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch

June 20, 2014
People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time.

New tick-borne disease discovered

September 20, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Yale School of Public Health researchers in collaboration with Russian scientists have discovered a new tick-borne bacterium that might be causing disease in the United States and elsewhere. Their findings ...

Lyme disease risk is year-round in Northwest California, according to new study

August 20, 2014
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which aims to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, applauds new research published in an upcoming issue of the Elsevier peer review journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. The findings ...

Lyme disease on the uptick in upstate New York

July 26, 2013
Why are Lyme disease-carrying deer tick populations growing in central New York?

Recommended for you

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Decrease in sunshine, increase in Rickets

November 17, 2017
A University of Toronto student and professor have teamed up to discover that Britain's increasing cloudiness during the summer could be an important reason for the mysterious increase in Rickets among British children over ...

Scientists identify biomarkers that indicate likelihood of survival in infected patients

November 17, 2017
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Research team unlocks secrets of Ebola

November 16, 2017
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov. 16, 2017) in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison has ...

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus

November 16, 2017
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it.

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'

November 16, 2017
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) have shed light on how the human immune system recognizes the malaria parasite though investigation of antibodies generated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.