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Pathogens Manipulating Tick Behavior

Pathogens can manipulate the phenotypic traits of their hosts and vectors, maximizing their own fitness. Among the phenotypic traits that can be modified, manipulating vector behavior represents one of the most fascinating facets. How pathogens infection affects behavioral traits of key insect vectors has been extensively investigated. Major examples include PlasmodiumLeishmania and Trypanosoma spp. manipulating the behavior of mosquitoes, sand flies and kissing bugs, respectively. However, research on how pathogens can modify tick behavior is patchy. This review focuses on current knowledge about the behavioral changes triggered by AnaplasmaBorreliaBabesiaBartonellaRickettsia and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) infection in tick vectors, analyzing their potential adaptive significance. As a general trend, being infected by Borrelia and TBEV boosts tick mobility (both questing and walking activity). Borrelia and Anaplasma infection magnifies Ixodes desiccation resistance, triggering physiological changes (Borrelia: higher fat reserves; Anaplasma: synthesis of heat shock proteins). Anaplasma infection also improves cold resistance in infected ticks through synthesis of an antifreeze glycoprotein. Being infected by AnaplasmaBorrelia and Babesia leads to increased tick survival. BorreliaBabesia and Bartonella infection facilitates blood engorgement. In the last section, current challenges for future studies are outlined. View Full-Text

 

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Overlook Estate Foundation helps advance research into Lyme disease

Dr. Brian Leydet of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry sees a connection between the environment and disease that may be mitigated with conservation measures that include humans in the equation. Lydet is researching that connection on the Overlook Farm, a 400-acre property in Waverly, Pennsylvania owned by Mort and Sue Fuller who are conserving the land in a natural way.Leydet’s work employs Lyme disease as a model of a public health concern that has a significant environmental component, he said. For Leydet, the location provides the perfect spot for his research due to the number of ticks on the property. “If you’re going to think about long-term planning and conservation, then you should probably think about what that’s going to do to tick populations and your risk for disease,” said Leydet.Specifically, Leydet is concerned about how modifications to habitat trickle down to the tick population and in turn, Lyme disease in humans.

Learn more about how we should sculpt environments that keep infection and Lyme disease down here.

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Weaponized Cirtus

The E.P.A. has approved nootkatone, a safe and effective tick repellent found in cedars and grapefruit. It repels ticks, mosquitoes and other dangerous bugs for hours, but is safe enough to eat. This has added a new weapon to the fight against insect-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and malaria.

Diseases caused by the bites of ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have tripled in the United States in the last 15 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a 2018 report. They include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever from ticks; West Nile, dengue, Zika and chikungunya from mosquitoes; and plague from fleas.

The chemical repels mosquitoes, ticks, bedbugs and fleas — and, in high concentrations, kills them, according to the C.D.C. It may also be effective against lice, sandflies, midges and other pests, some of which can carry lethal diseases.

Click the link to read the entire New York Times article

 

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TOUCHED BY LYME: House approves increased funding for Lyme disease

The House of Representatives approved a minibus package of spending bills on Friday, including 20 million dollars for Lyme research and prevention for the fiscal year of 2021, a 43% increase over this year, representing nearly half of the 42 million dollars allocated by the bill to combat vector-borne illnesses overall. The bill will likely not be taken up by the Senate until after the election, but this is still a good day for Lyme patients. 

Project Lyme is a charter member of Center For Lyme Action, the Advocacy group that was behind this effort.

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What happens when coronavirus and Lyme disease intersect? It’s a scary time for patients

With overlapping symptoms and a ferocious tick season already upon us, we’re in for a confusing — and dangerous — summer. Read how Project Lyme Board Member Isabel Rose advises you protect yourself this tick season.

Read the article here.

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‘She’s Being Discriminated Against’: League Says Two-Time MVP’s Health Issues Not Serious Enough For Opt-Out

Elena Delle Donne’s request to opt out of the upcoming season was denied. Project Lyme was reached for a statement on why disinformation from the CDC is detrimental to the Lyme community.

Read the article here. 

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