Comment; Tick-borne illnesses have more than doubled between 2004 & 2016! Is this due to improved surveillance or is it legitimately growing? Probably both; regardless, we need to get serious. President Trump recently signed the bill to funnel more money to vector-borne illnesses, this is a good start.
Nicole L. Mendell 1,†,
Erin S. Reynolds 2,†
Charles E. Hart 2,5,
Pete D. Teel 7,
Donald H. Bouyer 1,8,*
Saravanan Thangamani 1,2,9,*1Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555, USA2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 505 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555, USA4Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA5The Institution for Translational Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555, USA6Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555, USA7Department of Entomology, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, TX 77843, USA8Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Sealy Institute for Vaccine Studies, Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555, USA9SUNY Center for Environmental Health and Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 505 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA*Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.†These authors contributed equally to this work.Insects2019, 10(10), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10100315Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 18 September 2019 / Published: 25 September 2019(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tick Surveillance and Tick-borne Diseases)View Full-TextDownload PDF
Cases of tick-borne diseases, including spotted fever rickettsioses, borreliosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, in the United States and territories have more than doubled from 2004 to 2016 and account for 77% of all vector-borne disease reports. In an effort to inform control efforts, the presence of tick-borne pathogens and their vectors was assessed in a recreational park in Walker County, Texas. Here we report data from questing ticks collected on three dates from June 2017 to June 2018. The majority of ticks collected were Amblyomma americanum (96.69%) followed by three additional tick species: Dermacentor variabilis (2.59%), Ixodes scapularis (0.52%), and A. maculatum (0.21%). Ticks were pooled and tested for molecular evidence of bacterial and viral pathogens, respectively. All of the 68 pools of A. americanum had molecular evidence of the spotted fever group rickettsia, Rickettsia amblyommatis. Additionally, six (8.82%) of the A. americanum pools contained sequences matching Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the pathogen responsible for human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis, and 11 (16.18%) for E. ewingii. Three of the A. americanum pools demonstrated evidence of Borrelia lonestari. The presence of etiologic agents of known human disease in this study merits the continued surveillance efforts of ticks and their pathogens in areas where they could pose risks to public health.