Navigation Links
University of Pennsylvania study reveals inconspicuous hosts in the Lyme disease epidemic
Date:11/29/2007

PHILADELPHIA - A study led by a University of Pennsylvania biologist in the tick-infested woods of the Hudson Valley is challenging the widely held belief that mice are the main animal reservoir for Lyme disease in the U.S.

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, demonstrates that chipmunks and two shrew species, not just mice, are the four species that account for major outbreaks.

According to the study, white-footed mice account for about a quarter of infected ticks. Short-tailed shrews and masked shrews were responsible for a quarter each and chipmunks for as much as 13 percent. According to the team, vaccination strategies aimed solely at mice are unlikely to bring the disease under control. Efforts to control Lyme disease and prevent its spread, the team said, must include strategies that account for multi-species carriers.

The majority of zoonotic diseases, those that can be transmitted from wild or domestic animals to humans, are generally assumed to have one natural animal host, Dustin Brisson, professor of biology in the School of Arts and Science at Penn, said. For Lyme disease, this host has been the white-footed mouse. Data are beginning to accumulate to suggest that the story is much more complex, mice being one of an assemblage of vertebrate species contributing to feeding ticks and transmitting B. burgdorferi. Deer, a popular culprit of the Lyme disease epidemic, play a rather minor role in transmitting the bacteria to feeding ticks, although they are a major cause of the elevated tick densities that are important for the spread of the disease to humans.

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, is transmitted to humans by infected, blacklegged ticks. The ticks, infected as larvae during their first meal the blood of a vertebrate are middle men.

Mice were thought to be the primary natural reservoir of the disease because nearly 90 percent of ticks feeding on an infected mouse contract the disease, nearly twice as much as any other species. In addition, mice are common, conspicuous and easy to research in the field and in the lab, promoting their status as primary natural reservoir. Yet other factors, such as population densities and tick burdens of other disease-carrying species, led investigators to rethink mice as the principal reservoir species for the disease.

The team employed genetic and ecological data, including dynamics of an outer surface protein of Lyme disease that provides clues about how the disease was transmitted, to discover that mice feed only 10 percent of all ticks and 25 percent of B. burgdorferi-infected ticks in the northeastern Lyme disease endemic zone. Shrews feed 35 percent of all ticks and 55 percent of infected ticks.

Emerging zoonotic pathogens, the 132 infectious diseases that cross the line between animal and human species, like Lyme disease, are a constant threat to world health. The research team, focused on improving existing strategies to protect the public health, is promoting the notion that targeting a single host species, in this case the white-footed mouse, may have been a faulty assumption.

While public-health strategies to control Lyme disease in North America have focused on interrupting transmission between blacklegged ticks and white-footed mice, Lyme disease infects more than a dozen vertebrate species, any of which can infect feeding ticks and increase human Lyme disease risk.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@pobox.upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. University of Iowa professor identifies new eating disorder
2. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Complete System-Wide Conversion to Masimo SET Pulse Oximetry Technology
3. University of Texas Study Details Lengthy Payment Delays for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Claims, Confirming Need for Legislative Fix
4. Tulane University to receive $14M for international HIV/AIDS program
5. University of Nevada School of Medicine Professor Confirms Accuracy Through Validation Study Using the CSI Health Station Model 6K
6. Boston University School of Medicine researcher recipient of Memory Ride Grant
7. Loma Linda University Medical Center Selects Beryl to Manage Call Center Interactions for Womens Services Programs and Departments
8. Medina General Hospital and University Hospitals Agree to Pursue Affiliation
9. J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Hackensack University Medical Center Recognized as First Hospital to Achieve Distinction for Providing an Outstanding Inpatient Experience in All Four Service Areas
10. The First Incisionless Transoral Fundoplication for Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux is Performed in the U.S. at Ohio State University and Oregon Health & Science University Medical Centers
11. George Mason University professor receives $2.6 million NIH grant to study Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... New England Journal Of Medicine Confirms Viability of Rory’s Regulations and ... Staunton Foundation Calls on Health & Human Services, Tom Price to Adopt Rory’s Regulations ... today reported on a new study released on May 21, 2017 in the New ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... By all indications, and due to months of wet weather, ... diligence, asking homeowners to scout for any open water sources that can be emptied ... buzz of mosquitos is the buzz associated with potential infections stemming from their itchy ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... Orbita’s Nathan Treloar will discuss the role of voice-powered healthcare applications ... Connected Health and IoT: Technology Innovators and Disruption , the workshop is part of ... research and consulting firm specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. , ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... North America for the scientific development, healthcare training and clinical application of medical ... in becoming certified to perform medical thermal imaging services. , The first new ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... “Homeostasis: The Journey of ... to live with Bipolar 1. Donald Rodriguez takes readers on a rollercoaster ride that ... the dead of winter and to a dark place where Donald considers suicide. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)... FLINT, Mich. , May 8, 2017  Diplomat ... WRB Communications, Inc. ("WRB"), a health care ... . WRB specializes in relationship management ... organizations. WRB will ... of Diplomat,s commercialization support services for manufacturers, biotech firms, ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ... add approximately 100,000 square feet to its Welch Allyn ... 2016 its commitment to bring more than 100 new ... where Welch Allyn has maintained a significant presence for ... accommodate these new positions, a large portion of which ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... 2017 Clarius Mobile Health, a digital ... scanners this week at the American Congress of ... San Diego, CA from ... the perfect tool for clinicians to easily confirm ... evaluate pregnancy-related complications like ectopic pregnancy and placenta ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: