Lone Star Ticks (Amblyomma americanum):

Ashley C. Kennedy, Emily Marshall
2021 Delaware journal of public health  
Public health messaging in the eastern United States has historically underemphasized the risks posed by lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum), focusing instead on blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). This gap persists despite mounting evidence that lone star ticks also play an important role in disease ecology as confirmed vectors for a wide variety of tick-borne pathogens. These pathogens include several distinct bacterial agents that cause ehrlichiosis and tularensis in humans and dogs, a
more » ... humans and dogs, a protozoal agent that causes cytauxzoonosis in cats, and emerging viruses such as Heartland, Bourbon, and Tacaribe. Lone star ticks are additionally linked to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, southern tick-associated rash illness, and alpha-gal syndrome, a condition marked by immune reactions to ingestion of mammalian meat. Moreover, their distribution in North America is expanding due to changing climatic factors and land use patterns. Lone star ticks are the most commonly encountered tick in Delaware, especially in Sussex and Kent Counties, and make up the vast majority of ticks collected in the first two years of the state's tick surveillance program. Given the magnitude of lone star ticks' medical and veterinary import, it is vital for healthcare professionals and health educators to devote more attention to this emerging threat.
doi:10.32481/djph.2021.01.013 pmid:34467183 pmcid:PMC8352541 fatcat:dpa2a7holrczvhosnq72tantg4