Birds spread Lyme Disease

With all the barbaric discussions of culling deer to eradicate ticks and Lyme disease, the following Yale study should be evidence enough that deer are not the primary problem.

Excerpted from Yale Daily News ( Posted: 1/13/2010 )

Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have shown that birds have helped spread Lyme disease across North America.

A team led by School of Public Health researcher Maria Diuk-Wasser analyzed studies on 71 bird species that host the black legged tick, the main carrier of Lyme disease. They found that 58.6 percent of the bird species can infect the tick with the bacterium that is responsible for Lyme disease. The literature review was published online in December in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

“Although it has been known for some time that birds play some role in Lyme disease epidemiology, this study integrates all the available information and points at particular bird species that may have a critical role in dispersing the Lyme agent,” Diuk-Wasser said.

Traditionally, scientists thought small mammals such as white-footed mice, chipmunks and shrews were the main carriers of ticks, co-author Kimberly Tsao GRD ’13 said. But the study shows that the expansion of the range of Lyme disease in the Northeast and Midwest over the past 20 to 30 years can also be attributed to birds, she said. For example, nearly 70 percent of brown thrashers, a ground-dwelling species, carried the tick, post-doctoral researcher and main author Robert Brinkerhoff said.

More at:

~ by Rob on January 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “Birds spread Lyme Disease”

  1. My husband got Lyme disease and several co-infections, here in AUSTRALIA, after working for a company that allowed many birds to take refuge, unnaturally, in and around their working area daily, including leaving the doors of the vehicles open all night enabling the birds to sleep in them, when he or the other drivers would approach on early morning shifts, they would disturb the birds, including Indian Mynors/Mynas, Sparrows, Magpies, Pigeons and others, causing them to frantically fly out of the vehicles, leaving their faeces, feathers and filth flying all over the place. This left the drivers sitting on and amongst all of this, regularly getting bitten, crawled on and itchy. We have since found many people, including in Australia, who cannot remember a tick bite, but vividly remember a bird infestation of some sort, usually Indian Mynors/Mynas, either in their home, work, church etc, just prior to getting the Lyme disease and co-infection symptoms. Coincidently, most of these co-infections are known to be passed on by birds, list available if required and will be in my next post at:

    One must avoid birds nesting in their roof, etc, at all costs.

    • Jodie,

      Birds are notorious transport vehicles for bacteria and for bacteria carrying insects (e.g., ticks fleas, mosquitoes, etc.). This is essentially why LD and associated confections can be found in most parts of the world (with the exception of the colder climates).

      Getting proper treatment in Australia must be difficult. It’s hard enough getting treated in the states even though it’s so prevalent. In the States, many doctors are just starting to accept its existence. Even so, the accepting doctors are in the early stages of becoming Lyme Literate.

      If you are not getting properly treated, I suggest concentrating on boosting your immune system. Most immune systems are strong enough to fight the disease for quite a while, though, eventually it does overcome the patient. For me, I was good for about 9 years, and then it slowly crippled me.

      You might also try the Vitamin C and Salt regimen. I know a number of people that have had success. But obviously, too much salt in your diet can be very dangerous.

      All the best,

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