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Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch
Date:6/20/2014

Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. "That means these patterns of co-infection might get worse through time as humans continue to impact forest ecosystems."

The researchers also considered another emerging pathogen, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the bacterium that causes anaplasmosis in humans. Fortunately, ticks were not more likely than expected to be co-infected with Anaplasma and the Lyme disease bacterium.

The researchers determined the proportion of ticks infected with each pathogen individually, then calculated the rates of co-infection expected by chance alone. Not only was co-infection with the agents of Lyme disease and babesiosis greater than expected, but rates of triple infection with the agents of Lyme, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis were about twice as likely as expected. "People in tick-infested parts of the United States such as the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest, are vulnerable to being exposed to two or three diseases from a single tick bite," said Keesing. "And, of course, that risk increases when they're bitten by more than one tick."


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Contact: Lori Quillen
quillenl@caryinstitute.org
845-677-7600 x121
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Source:Eurekalert  

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