Mapping distributions of the Lyme disease vector, Ixodes scapularis, and spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in Kentucky using passive and active surveillance

Anna R. Pasternak, Subba R. Palli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States and is becoming more prevalent each year. It is transmitted to humans and animals through the bites of Ixodes scapularis ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi in the eastern United States, I. pacificus in the western U.S, and I. ricinus in Europe and Asia. In Kentucky, where Lyme disease is non-endemic, the number of reported human cases in 2010 totaled five. In 2019, that number had increased by over 300%. Identifying the distribution of I. scapularis populations infected with B. burgdorferi is important data for effective prevention strategies and an important first step in monitoring disease spread. In collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, we performed surveillance for I. scapularis throughout the state of Kentucky using both active and passive surveillance methods. Diagnostic testing for the identification of B. burgdorferi (sensu stricto) was also conducted. We identified 457 I. scapularis ticks from March 2019 to December 2020 from 32 counties in Kentucky. B. burgdorferi was detected in I. scapularis populations collected from 14 different counties. These results add to the little data that exists in Kentucky on I. scapularis and B. burgdorferi distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101885
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by a grant from the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture (under Multistate Project 2352927000). We would like to thank members of the Kentucky Department for Public Health for their help in collecting ticks and establishing the Veterinary tick submission program.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier GmbH

Keywords

  • Ixodes scapularis
  • Lyme disease
  • Tick-borne disease
  • Ticks
  • Vector surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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