In the News
WTOP

Vanishing cicadas likely behind another DC-area nuisance: oak mite bites

It's believed the cicadas, which have laid billions of eggs across the area, are serving as a feast for oak leaf itch mites. In turn, the microscopic organisms are dropping out of oak trees while feeding, landing on people walking by, and then biting their human victims several times over with a lasting itchy impact.
Phys.org

Active forest management linked to reduced tick populations

Active management of forests, including timber harvesting to meet silvicultural objectives, can influence the transmission dynamics of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme, anaplasmosis and babesiosis, according to a new study by a team of University of Maine researchers.
The Globe and Mail

A ticking time bomb: Canada’s tick seasons are getting worse, and they’re no longer just a rural menace

Climate change allows these biting bugs to multiply even more, reach new places, infect more people with Lyme disease – and then endure the milder winters before starting the cycle again.
The Washington Post

Babesiosis, a dangerous tick-borne infection that attacks red blood cells, appears to be a growing problem

A recently published 12-year study of babesiosis among U.S. Medicare beneficiaries reported 'substantially increasing babesiosis diagnosis trends' particularly in endemic states and 'expansion of babesiosis infections in other states.'
The Washington Post

Tick encounters are expected to be frequent this year. Here’s what you need to know.

A few weeks ago, Goudarz Molaei, who directs the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station’s tick surveillance and testing program, went on a research expedition to a wooded coastal area in southwestern Connecticut. Within minutes, droves of troublesome residents of the area were crawling across his coveralls. He was covered in ticks.
Johns Hopkins Magazine

Lyme selfies

Researchers at the the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center look to AI to detect Lyme disease earlier.
The New York Times

Climate change is making big problems bigger

New data compiled by the E.P.A. shows how global warming is making life harder for Americans in myriad ways that threaten their health, safety and homes.
WebMD Health News

‘Ticks surprise us:’ 2021 may be big Lyme disease year

John Aucott, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center, believes more Americans will book outdoor travel plans this summer after a year of being homebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Washington Post

Study finds Lyme-carrying ticks next to beaches and ‘pretty much wherever we looked’

Disease-carrying ticks, commonly associated with wooded areas, are also abundant near beaches in Northern California, accordingto a study.
Research
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

Modeling future climate suitability for the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus, in California with an emphasis on land access and ownership

We explore (1) how climate change may alter the geographic distribution of I. pacificus in California, USA, during the 21st century, and (2) the spatial overlap among predicted changes in tick habitat suitability, land access, and ownership. The resulting maps may facilitate regional planning and preparedness by informing public health and vector control decision-makers.
Parasites & Vectors

Monitoring the patterns of submission and presence of tick-borne pathogens in Ixodes scapularis collected from humans and companion animals in Ontario, Canada (2011–2017)

The universal nature of the human–companion animal relationship and their shared ticks and tick-borne pathogens offers an opportunity for improving public and veterinary health surveillance. With this in mind, we describe the spatiotemporal trends for blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) submissions from humans and companion animals in Ontario, along with pathogen prevalence.
PLoS ONE

Predicting the current and future distribution of the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus, across the Western US using citizen science collections

Typically, tick-borne disease surveillance is passive and relies on case reports, whiledisease risk is calculated using active surveillance, where researchers collect ticks from the environment. Active surveillance monitors ticks and sylvatic pathogens at local scales, but it is resource-intensive. Engaging public participation in surveillance efforts allows spatially and temporally diverse samples to be collected with minimal effort. Here, we present niche models produced through citizen science tick collections over two years.
PLoS Biology

Why Lyme disease is common in the northern US, but rare in the south: The roles of host choice, host-seeking behavior, and tick density

Lyme disease is common in the northeastern United States, but rare in the southeast, even though the tick vector is found in both regions. As ticks must acquire Lyme spirochetes from infected vertebrate hosts, the role of wildlife species composition on Lyme disease risk has been a topic of lively academic discussion. We compared tick–vertebrate host interactions using standardized sampling methods among 8 sites scattered throughout the eastern US.
Parasites & Vectors

Spatial and temporal patterns of the emerging tick-borne pathogen Borrelia miyamotoi in blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in New York

Borrelia miyamotoi, a bacterium that causes relapsing fever, is found in ixodid ticks throughout the northern hemisphere. We surveyed B. miyamotoi prevalence in ticks within forested habitats in Dutchess County, New York, and identified possible reservoir hosts.
Remote Sensing

Earth observation-informed risk maps of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis in central and eastern Canada

Climate change is facilitating the geographic range expansion of populations of the tick vector of Lyme disease Ixodes scapularis in Canada. Here, we characterize and map the spatio-temporal variability of environments suitable for I. scapularis using Earth observation data.
Emerging Infectious Diseases

Emergence of Lyme disease on treeless islands, Scotland, United Kingdom

Lyme disease is usually associated with forested habitats but has recently emerged on treeless islands in the Western Isles of Scotland. The environmental and human components of Lyme disease risk in open habitats remain unknown. We quantified the environmental hazard and risk factors for human tick bite exposure among treeless islands with low and high Lyme disease incidence in the Western Isles.
Relevant Resources
Prevention and Symptoms
US Resources

Companion Animal Parasite Council

Parasite Prevalence Maps

California Department of Public Health

Lyme Disease in California ArcGIS StoryMap

Upstate Medical University

New York Tick Surveillance Dashboard

University of Rhode Island

TickEncounter

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Lyme & Tick-borne Disease

Columbia University

New York City Ticks
Canadian Resources

Bishop’s University

eTick Public Tick Map

Companion Animal Parasite Council

Parasite Prevalence Maps

Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network

Research Projects
Resources