Navigation Links
Tracking Lyme Disease in Dogs May Help Protect Humans
Date:8/10/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Tracking Lyme disease infections in dogs may help scientists predict possible outbreaks of the tick-borne illness in humans, government researchers report.

Since dogs are also susceptible to Lyme disease, they can be a good indicator of the risk of human infection, the scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. When blood tests show that few dogs in a given area carry the bacteria, the risk to people is relatively low, they noted. Conversely, when more dogs test positive for Lyme, people may be at increased risk, they noted.

"Public health authorities could use this to assess and evaluate changes in their region," said Dr. Gary P. Wormser, chief of infectious diseases at New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. "This could be of help in understanding the risk areas for humans."

The report, released Aug. 10, is published in the September issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

For the study, a team led by Dr. Paul Mead, a CDC medical epidemiologist, used data from 46 states on human and canine Lyme disease prevalence.

Comparing the data, Mead's team found that when 1 percent or less of the dogs tested positive for Lyme disease, the risk of people becoming infected was low. However, when more than 5 percent of the dogs were infected, the risk to people was high.

A 5 percent (or higher) rate of positive blood test results in dogs "can be a sensitive but nonspecific marker of increased risk for human Lyme disease," the researchers wrote in a CDC news release. "Because dogs do not transmit infection directly to humans [or humans to dogs], this association reflects similar susceptibilities to tick-borne infection."

Sometimes, this level of canine infection "appears to anticipate increasing rates of human infection at the county level. Conversely, canine [prevalence of 1 percent or less] is associated with little to no local risk for human infection," Mead's group concluded.

Blood tests can detect a dog's exposure to the bacteria, even when no symptoms appear. "Most of the time the dogs appear to be asymptomatic, but they do develop clinical disease as well," Wormser said. As a result, they may develop problems walking and possibly heart or kidney complications.

Like humans, dogs with the disease can be treated with antibiotics. "There is also a vaccine for dogs," Wormser said. Symptoms may abate without treatment, but Lyme disease can leave recurrent lameness.

Commenting on the study, Phillip J. Baker, executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation, said, "You have to wonder if a dog is a good sentinel animal."

Their travel history and the use of tick repellent can affect estimates of Lyme disease prevalence in a specific area, he explained.

To prevent being bitten by the deer tick, which spreads Lyme disease, Baker advises checking your pet (and yourself) after walking through woods, fields or tall grass. Many dog owners also use tick repellent on their pets, he said.

Areas where cattle and goats are raised may have a reduced risk of Lyme disease, according to another study in the same journal issue.

Researchers from Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany found pastures containing livestock bore fewer ticks in general and fewer ticks carrying Lyme disease. Hikers passing through these pastures were 40 to 54 times less likely to contract Lyme disease than those walking through meadows or fallow land, they said.

It's possible that grazing animals reduce the tick's habitat or perhaps the ticks shed the Lyme disease bacteria when they feed on animals, the researchers said.

"Extensive landscape management that uses domestic ruminants not only serves to maintain cultural and natural heritage in Germany but also seems to confer a health benefit for hikers and others seeking recreation," the researchers wrote in the CDC news release.

More information

For more on Lyme disease, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Gary P. Wormser, M.D., chief, infectious diseases, New York Medical College and Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, N.Y.; Phillip J. Baker, Ph.D., executive director, American Lyme Disease Foundation, Lyme, Conn.; September 2011 Emerging Infectious Diseases


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. You are what you tweet: Tracking public health trends with Twitter
2. Tracking groundwater pollution to its source
3. Tracking Swine Flu Virus in Pigs Reveals Mutations
4. Tracking down the origin of leukemia relapse
5. Tracking down particulates
6. Tracking PSA Test Results Over Time Gives Clues to Cancer
7. Color-coded tracking method helps scientists analyze outcomes of newly transplanted tissue
8. Life Science Contract Manufacturing Gains Predictable On-Time Production with TraceLink's Production Tracking Solution
9. USPack Courier Brings Tracking Precision to Medical and Blood Shipments
10. Newest Release of FileTrail Sets New Standard in Global Physical Records Management and File Tracking
11. TalentWise Integrates Employment Screening with Leading Applicant Tracking Solution for Healthcare Industry TalentWise becomes HealthcareSource Certified Integration Partner For Position Manager Product
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tracking Lyme Disease in Dogs May Help Protect Humans
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new ... network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best ... individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a ... and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women ... intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... inhaled drugs, announced today that it was added to ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity ... an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... of our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the ... from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to ... chloride in balance. Increasing number of ESRD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: