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‘Tick host and pathogen presence in residential versus woodland habitats’

Tick host and pathogen presence in residential versus woodland habitats

Researchers in Connecticut studied the abundance of tick hosts and the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi in both residential areas and woodlands, and they found that habitats fragmented by residential properties were conducive to a greater diversity of host species for blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis)–specifically alternative hosts that are less competent reservoirs for B. burgdorferi–than woodlands. That diversity of alternative hosts corresponded to a lower level of pathogen presence in the residential areas, as well. Means with different letters are significantly different from one another within each of the five bar graphs. (Images originally published in Linske et al, 2017, Journal of Medical Entomology)

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