330 – Tick Saliva

This research report contains additional evidence that the Lyme bacterium exists in the tick’s saliva.  It suggests that when the tick is in starvation mode the bacterium in the saliva can not flourish due to the lack of nutrients.  Regardless, the notion that the tick must be attached to you for 48 hours to pass LD seems wrong and misleading.

“When the bacterium is in the tick’s saliva – on its way from the tick’s gut to the mammal host’s blood – it’s in a starvation mode because there aren’t enough nutrients in the tick’s saliva for it to grow,” said Nelson. “We think we’ll be able to find a good vaccine candidate among the genes expressed in the bacterium’s physiological response to starvation.”

For the full article on Tick Saliva key to LD Vaccine: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020409073628.htm

This article states that Soft Ticks can transmit disease in less than a minute.  Deer ticks are part of the Hard Tick family.

Two families of ticks, Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks), are important to humans because of the diseases or illnesses they can transmit or cause. Hard ticks have a tough back plate or scutum that defines their appearance. The hard ticks tend to attach and feed for hours to days. Disease transmission usually occurs near the end of a meal, as the tick becomes full of blood. Soft ticks have more rounded bodies and do not have the hard scutum found in hard ticks. These ticks usually feed for less than one hour. Disease transmission from these ticks can occur in less than a minute. The bite of some of these ticks produces intensely painful reactions. Ticks can transmit disease to many hosts; some ceaus economic harm such as Texas fever (bovine babeiosis) in cattle that can kill up to 90% of yearling cows.


Clinical evidence for rapid transmission of Lyme disease following a tickbite


Lyme disease transmission to humans by Ixodes ticks is thought to require at least 36–48 h of tick attachment. We describe 3 cases in which transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, appears to have occurred in less than 24 h based on the degree of tick engorgement, clinical signs of acute infection, and immunologic evidence of acute Lyme disease.

Health care providers and individuals exposed to ticks should be aware that transmission of Lyme disease may occur more rapidly than animal models suggest. A diagnosis of Lyme disease should not be ruled out based on a short tick attachment time in a subject with clinical evidence of B. burgdorferi infection.


One Response to “330 – Tick Saliva”

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