Tick-borne disease


Tick-borne diseases, are those caused by infectious agents transmitted by tick bites.

Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

Tick-borne diseases include:Lyme disease, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis, babesiosis, tularemia, and Powassan virus.

Tick bitten individuals commonly experience symptoms such as body aches, fever, fatigue, joint pain, or rashes.

Cases of bacterial and protozoan tickborne disease doubled in the US between 2004 and 2016.

In 2017 more than 90% of the nearly 60,000 cases of notifiable vector -borne diseases were linked to ticks.

Because individual ticks can harbor more than one disease-causing agent, at the same time.

Persistently warm temperatures me extended geographic range of some ticks and extend their active season, altering host availability and abundance,

Warming temperatures and other environmental changes can affect abundance, distribution, seasonal activity patterns, and species interactions for various ticks.

As of 2016, there were 16 tick-borne diseases of humans.

The geographic range of multiple tick species is expanding, and invasive tick species are being discovered, and new tick borne pathogens are emerging, and coinfections in ticks are surging.

Increase in global temperature, ecological changes, reforestation, and increasing commerce and travel are underlying factors influencing the rate and extent of range expansion for ticks and tick-borne pathogens.

Generally, specific laboratory tests are not available to rapidly diagnose tick-borne diseases, therefore, antibiotic treatment is often initiated based on clinical presentation alone.

Ticks are usually more active during warmer months, and wooded areas, and those with bushes, high grass, or leaf litter are likely to have more ticks.

To establish a tick-borne illness requires that an individual gets bitten by a tick and that that tick feeds for a sufficient period of time.

The feeding time to transmit pathogens varies for different ticks and different pathogens.

Ticks must be infected to transmit pathogens, as not all ticks are infected.

In the US, 30-50% of deer ticks are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease.while other pathogens are much more uncommon

Ticks can be tested for infection using PCR procedures.

Major tick-borne diseases include:


Lyme disease or borreliosis

Relapsing fever

Diseases caused by Rickettsia bacteria

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Helvetica spotted fever

Human granulocytic anaplasmosis




Tick-borne meningoencephalitis

Powassan virus/deer tick virus

Colorado tick fever

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever



Tick paralysis

Colorado tick fever

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever



Tick paralysis

Pennsylvania had more reported cases of tick-borne disease than any other state.

Limiting tick bite exposure can be accomplished by wearing light-colored clothing, wearing pants and long sleeve shirts, using insect repellent with 20%–30% DEET, tucking their pants legs into their socks, checking for ticks frequently, and washing and drying clothing in a hot dryer.

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