When is Lyme Disease Not Lyme? Tufts New Tick Discovery

by Mary Haight on May 23, 2013

tufts new tick discoveryWhen is Lyme disease not Lyme? Good question – there’s been some head-scratching in the medical community in cases where blood tested negative for Lyme, while all the other symptoms were evidenced. Can you still have Lyme if you flunk the test for Lyme? Tufts new tick discovery could be the answer to that.

Since it’s the season in many areas when dog owners get more active, going for outings in the woods and tall grass fields, this news is timely: Tufts tick discovery is a new disease brought to you by the deer tick that can be shared between humans and animals (zoonotic). It’s so new there’s no name yet. It acts like Lyme, but is a different bacteria. It can be treated with the same antibiotic.

Deer ticks wreck some havoc in the zoonotic disease department, and this new one brings the total to five you can get from them: Lyme, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and deer tick virus plus this new disease. Sam Telford, an expert on tick-borne diseases and a professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine was responsible for Tufts new tick discovery when he found the new bacteria in an 80-year-old woman. It’s been seen in animals in the Northeast, but this was the first US case confirmed in humans (January 2013).

It’s good to note that not all deer tick carry this bacteria, or Lyme, but the fact that you can pick up all these listed diseases from your dog might get you to the pet store for tick prevention if you haven’t protected your dog — and yourself — already.

(Photo: Kelvin Ma)

 

6 comments
WordsWithWieners
WordsWithWieners

You forgot good ol' Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which can unfortunately be fatal if not treated early.

wantmorepuppies
wantmorepuppies

Great post. Honestly, I feel like all I really ever hear about is Lyme. Until Tavish got ehrlichiosis, I wasn't really aware of how many other tick-borne diseases there are.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @WordsWithWieners :) Actually I was pinpointing deer ticks - breaking up disease according to types of ticks...this one caused by the deer tick, and rocky mountain caused by the brown and wood tick, but fair observation =) Thanks and yes, all these diseases if treated early can be resolved. Early diagnosis is key to keeping our pets and ourselves healthy! Thanks for stopping in.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @wantmorepuppies And it's soooo random, A.J., honestly, it feels like russian roulette for dogs. And all those from one type of tick. Poor Tavish! Catching it in time is key to outcomes. Thanks for stopping by =)

WordsWithWieners
WordsWithWieners

 @MaryEHaight Oops, my brain totally missed that you were listing diseases spread *specifically* by deer ticks, not ticks in general.  With ticks in general, there are about ten zoonotic diseases... but RMSF scares me the most, so that's the one I felt the need to tack on.  But again, my fault for missing the whole deer ticks specificity (is that even a word? lol).  Thanks for posting about the newly-discovered disease, not that I'm happy to learn about it ;)

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @WordsWithWieners Hee hee - no worries...I have done the same! When we are afraid of something, we can often mistake what's being said - like a trick of the brain! I find myself re-reading things so I don't skim and get the wrong idea. Thanks for checking the comments again, though and the very nice comeback =)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Dale Tick prevention is really important, for both you and your dog. Did you know that one tick is a carrier for five zoonotic diseases, one of which was only recently documented in humans? Not every bite infects your dog, so […]

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