A study, originally published in January in the journal, PLoS Onelooked at the differences in geographical distribution of Lyme disease.

Black-legged tick
Ixodes scapularis, a Black-legged tick/CDC

Researchers suggests that under environmentally-realistic conditions, southern environments exert greater mortality pressure on ticks than is experienced by northern ticks, because of the increased desiccation stress under the warmer southern conditions.

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They hypothesize that host-seeking nymphs in southern populations of Ixodes scapularis remain below the leaf litter surface, while northern nymphs seek hosts on leaves and twigs above the litter surface. This behavioral difference potentially results in decreased tick contact with humans in the south, and fewer cases of Lyme disease.

Howard Ginsberg, PhD, Professor with the Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology at University of Rhode Island joined me to talk about the USGS-led study.

Originally recorded on the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show in January 2017.




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Intro music: “Rapture” by Ross Bugden