Ailmemts & Remedies

Tick-Borne Disease

Tick-borne diseases are diseases or illnesses transmitted by ticks. As the incidence of tick-borne illnesses increases and the geographic areas in which they are found expand, it becomes increasingly important that health professionals be able to distinguish the diverse, and often overlapping, clinical presentations of these diseases.

Adult Female Deer Tick
Deer ticks are responsible for causing Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis (formerly human granulocytic ehrlichiosis

Adult Female Dog Tick
Dog ticks are responsible for causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever and certain types of tularemia.

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.Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Because ticks can harbor more than one disease-causing agent, patients can be infected with more than one pathogen at the same time, compounding the difficulty in diagnosis and treatment.

In general, specific laboratory tests are not available to rapidly diagnose tick-borne diseases. Due to their seriousness, antibiotic treatment is often justified based on clinical presentation alone.

Major tick-borne diseases include:

*Lyme disease

Organism: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (bacterium)
Vector: deer tick (Ixodes scapularis (=I. dammini), I. pacificus, I. ricinus (Europe), I. persulcatus (Asia))
Endemic to: North America and Eurasia

*Tick-borne meningoencephalitis

Organism: TBEV aka FSME virus, a flavivirus
Vector: deer tick (Ixodes scapularis)
Endemic to: Europe and Northern Asia

*Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Organism: Rickettsia rickettsii
Vector: Dermacentor variabilis, D. andersoni
Region (US): East, South West
Vector: Amblyomma cajennense
Region (Brazil): São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais.


Organism: Babesia microti, B. equi
Vector: I. scapularis, I. pacificus
Region (US): Northeast West Coast

*Ehrlichiosis anaplasmosis (formerly human granulocytic ehrlichiosis or HGE)

Organism: Ehrlichia chaffeensis, E. equi (renamed to Anaplasma phagocytophilum)
Vector: Amblyomma americanum, I. scapularis
Region (US): South-Atlantic South-Central

*Relapsing fever

Organism: Borrelia species
Vector: Ornithodoros species
Region (US): West

*Colorado tick fever

Organism: Coltivirus
Vector: D. andersoni
Region (US): West


Organism: Francisella tularensis, A. americanum
Organism: D. andersoni, D. variabilis
Region (US): Southeast, South-Central, West, Widespread

*Tick paralysis

Cause: Toxin
Vector: D. andersoni, D. variabilis West
Region (US): East
Organism: C. felis
Vector: D. variabilis (American Dog Tick)
Region (US): South, Southeast

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