Navigation Links
EPA funds ground-breaking Lyme disease research

New York, NY In the United States, Lyme disease is the most frequently reported disease that can be passed from animals to humans. These animal-borne diseases can make people very sick, and proper anticipation of disease outbreaks and effective intervention are crucial to protecting the public. Scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY recently received $750,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help safeguard human health by gaining a better understanding of the Lyme disease life cycle.

"Most people overlook the possibility of acquiring Lyme disease or other tick- and insect-transmitted diseases," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "Certain areas here in New York, however, have among the highest incident rates of Lyme disease in the United States."

The Lyme disease research team is headed by a group of five investigators. Its focus is on how the interactions between ticks, bacterial pathogens, animal and human hosts, and the landscapes in which they interact, affect exposure to Lyme disease. The objective is to understand how diversity of different host species, as affected by man-made changes to the landscape and other social stressors, drive human risk of infection with Lyme disease. This will be done with experimental field work to study and manipulate three major animal hosts for ticks: white-footed mice, eastern chipmunks, and gray squirrels. Ticks that feed on mice and chipmunks frequently get infected with Lyme bacteria, whereas those that feed on squirrels and other animals do not.

"Some spots within the Northeast are much riskier than others," said Cary Institute researcher Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, "and we've developed specific hypotheses to explain why. The new funding from EPA will allow us to test these hypotheses in the field, and the resulting knowledge should help inform habitat management to reduce human risk."

These studies will be conducted in Dutchess County, New York, an area of the country where Lyme disease is a problem. The scientists expect that communities where hosts other than mice are abundant high biodiversity communities will be characterized by a lower rate of ticks infected with B. burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. In this way, high biodiversity might protect human health. EPA funding for this study will last through December 31, 2010.

This is one of three biodiversity grants issued in 2008 under EPA's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. These three grants will bring together ecologists, biologists, public health experts, earth scientists, and social scientists. Together, they will integrate data on ecosystems, human health and man-made stressors such as deforestation to investigate how environmental factors and people's behaviors contribute to disease transmission.


Contact: Caroline Newton
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Related biology news :

1. Michael J. Fox Foundation Funds $1.1 Million for Cutting-edge Approaches to Parkinsons Disease
2. W.M. Keck Foundation grant funds reproductive science research
3. National Science Foundation funds research addressing enduring questions of life
4. BP funds energy scholarships for K20 scholars
5. OCAST funds OSU projects with commercial viability
6. BP funds scholarship for University of Houston to help fill industry ranks
7. USDA Cooperative Agreement funds mosquito project at Rutgers
8. NHGRI funds new Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research
9. Genes and environment grant funds close look at nature-nurture overlap in common diseases
10. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
11. ASM and FIND to partner on strengthening infectious disease diagnosis in developing nations
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... of the "Capacitive Fingerprint Sensors - Technology and ... --> --> ... market, especially in smartphones. The fingerprint sensor vendor Idex ... fingerprint sensor units in mobile devices and of the ...
(Date:11/20/2015)... OXFORD, Connecticut , November 20, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... its CEO, Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed ... The interview will air on this weekend on ... Bloomberg Latin America . --> NXTD ) ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 19, 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of ... BIO-key with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award ... Sullivan presents this award to the company that has ... needs of the market it serves. The award recognizes ... expands on customer base demands, the overall impact it ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of ... OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ANGELES , Nov. 24, 2015 ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present ... 1, 2015 at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte ... City . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: PDLI ... company,s president and chief executive officer, will present at the ... in New York City . The presentation ... 1, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. EST. ... website at least 15 minutes prior to the presentation to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it ... will be strictly dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing ... have complete chemistry and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: