Failure of Asian Longhorned Tick to Serve as Experimental Vector of Lyme Disease Bacteria

Researchers from the CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases published results of an experimental vector competence study of the Asian longhorned tick for the Lyme disease bacteria. The researchers used a population of Asian longhorned tick originating from New York State to evaluate the ability of larval ticks to acquire the bacteria, carry the infection through molting, and transmit the bacteria during their next life stage (nymphs). They found that larval ticks could acquire the bacteria after feeding on infected mice, but that the infection was lost during the molt to the nymphal stage. The researchers conclude that the Asian longhorned tick is unlikely to contribute to transmission of Lyme disease in the US.

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