Lyme disease risk from dogs ‘higher than thought’

Excerpted from   ( Posted: 01/24/2012

Ticks that can transmit Lyme disease may be more prevalent in the UK than realised, say researchers who have found out how many dogs harbour them.

Experts have suspected for some time that the UK has a growing problem with these tiny pests – rates of the disease have been creeping up in recent years.

In 2010 there were 953 reported cases in England and Wales.

Now, after doing random checks on over 3,500 dogs, Bristol University experts suspects the problem is even bigger.

Of the 3,534 pet dogs inspected at veterinary clinics in the UK between March and October 2009, 14.9% had ticks.

Without considerably better surveillance and routine diagnostic testing, Lyme disease is only likely to become more prevalent”End Quote Faith Smith Lead researcher

Of these, 2.3% turned out to be infected.

The expected prevalence of infected ticks on dogs is 0.5% or 481 infected ticks per 100,000 dogs.

This suggests that the prevalence of this Borrelia infection in the UK tick population is considerably higher than previously thought, the researchers report in the journal Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

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~ by Rob on January 25, 2012.

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