In a research posted in mBio, Rafal Tokarz and Jorge Benach (along with their co-authors at Columbia University and Stony Brook University) reported on the occurrence of multiple agents having the ability to cause human disease that are present on Long Island in 3 species of ticks.
Tick-borne diseases have turned out to be a global threat to public health. In the US, cases have increased more than 2 times, more than 48,000 in 2016 versus 22,000 in 2004, as per CDC. Tick-borne diseases vary from fatal or subclinical infections with uneven incidence in the elderly or children.
In addition to this, some infections can also be conveyed by blood transfusions and lead to severe disease in people with original disorders. While public attention has aimed at Lyme disease, in late years, researchers have revealed proof that ticks can convey various different pathogens that have the ability to cause various different tick-borne disorders, sometimes in one tick.
In the new research, scientists gathered ticks from various areas all over the Suffolk County in the eastern and central region of Long Island, where 7 diseases due to microbes conveyed by ticks are in attendance. Overall, they studied 1,633 separate ticks for 12 different microbes.
They discovered that over 50% of the deer ticks (Ixodes) were contaminated with the Lyme disease agent, followed by contagions with the Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis agents. Essentially, almost 25% of these ticks are contaminated with more than single agent, leading to the possibility of immediate transmission from bite of a single tick.
On a related note, a tick’s bite’s saliva can convey pathogens that might lead to serious diseases, such as Lyme disease, and noteworthy agricultural losses. Now, scientists report that components they earlier recognized can dry up ticks’ saliva by disturbing the balance of salivary gland ions, lowering feeding, and possibly restricting transmission of pathogen.