Study finds nymphal ticks can transmit Lyme within 12 hours

Republished Media Release from Insitut Pasteur on the site: www.lymedisease.org

When scientists from the Institut Pasteur used mice to study the transmission of bacteria by ticks infected with various European and North American species of Borrelia recently, they found evidence of rapid bacterial transmission following a bite, with infection occurring within 24 hours of an adult tick bite and sometimes even sooner for nymph bites.

This is a timely reminder of the importance of removing ticks as soon as possible after being bitten to prevent infection. Lyme borreliosis is the most common vector-borne disease in Europe and many other areas. It is caused by spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

The bacteria are transmitted through a bite from a hard tick of the genus Ixodes. Ticks can infect a wide variety of hosts. Humans are considered to be an accidental host; transmission can occur if they come into contact with an environment favorable to ticks.

Ticks have three lifecycle stages that can bite humans – larva, nymph and adult – but bacteria are usually transmitted through bites from nymphs, which are higher in density and often go unnoticed because of their small size.

The amount of time a tick must remain attached to transmit bacteria to the vertebrate host is an essential parameter in assessing the risk of transmission and identifying measures to prevent infection. It is generally accepted that the longer a tick remains attached, the higher the risk of transmission. In Europe, it is regularly stated that there is a real risk of transmission only after 24 hours of attachment.

In this study, we used a mouse model to determine the kinetics of infection by Ixodes ricinus ticks (nymphs and adult females) infected with various European and North American strains or species of Borrelia.

We also compared the dissemination of various strains and species of Borrelia by different modes of inoculation (via infected ticks or by injection of bacteria).

Unlike the American strains, all the European species of B. burgdorferi that we studied were detected in the salivary glands of adult ticks before a blood meal, suggesting the possibility of rapid transmission of the bacteria following a bite.

The results were consistent with this theory: infection occurred within 24 hours of a bite from an adult tick. Moreover, our analysis shows that nymphs infected by European species of B. burgdorferi are capable of transmitting these pathogens within 12 hours of attachment.

Our study proves that B. burgdorferi can be transmitted more quickly than stated in the literature. It is therefore vital to remove ticks as soon as possible after being bitten to prevent infection.

Furthermore, the study shows that the tropism of Borrelia varies depending on the strain and species studied, which explains the variety of clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis.

We also demonstrate a difference in the tropism of Borrelia following a tick bite, confirming the role of tick saliva in the efficacy of infection and dissemination in vertebrate hosts.

Related posts:

  1. New study: SF bay area ticks carry diverse infections
  2. Study: more Lyme-carrying ticks in more places in US
  3. HARD SCIENCE ON LYME: Removal of Western fence lizard decreases number of nymphal ticks and number of infected nymphal ticks.
  4. New study finds Lyme bacteria survive a 28-day course of antibiotics

 

Contact details

For the thousands of people who find themselves suffering from a Lyme-like illness, a clinic that treats the body as a whole can offer a great deal of help. This article was written by Pamela Connellan, Director of Scheduling Services for Lyme Support. This company refers people who are suffering with Lyme disease to clinics in Germany and Mexico.

If you’d like more information about these specialised clinics, we can help schedule you at a clinic and connect you with others who’ve been to the same clinic.

You can contact us by emailing to info@lymesupport.com or calling us at XXXXX

Mill Valley, California    |    Sydney, Australia    |    Global

Mill Valley, California
Sydney, Australia
Global

pamela@lymesupport.com
christine@lymesupport.com
phone: +1415.228.0296  (USA/Global)

© Lyme Support  |  Designed by GreenStreet Markeing