NOV 28, 2015 8:10 AM PST

New Tick-Borne Bacterium Discovered

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Evans
Austrian researchers discovered a new strain of bacteria in foxes.  It is closely related to Candidatus Neoehrlichia and is likely transmitted by ticks.

Two varieties of Candidatus Neoehrlichia are known to be spread by ticks and cause illness.  Ca. N. mikurensis was isolated from Ixodes ricinus ticks in 1999 and has since been shown to infect humans, dogs, badgers, bears, hedgehogs, and shrews.  A second species, Ca. N. lotoris was found in raccoons in the United States.  Infection with Ca. Neoehrlichia causes flu-like symptoms and can be treated with doxycycline.  However, more severe cases cause thrombosis and embolism.
 
Candidatus is spread by Ixodes ricinus ticks.
Other common tick-borne diseases include tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease.  Tick-borne encephalitis is caused by the appropriately named “tick-borne encephalitis virus” (TBEV).  TBEV is an RNA virus that is closely related to West Nile, yellow fever, and dengue fever viruses, all of which are transmitted by insect vectors.  The fatality rate for TBEV is only around 1%, however, the disease can be quite severe, causing meningoencephalitis and myelitis.  Vaccines for TBEV are available, but require multiple doses and boosters.  

Lyme disease is probably the most well-known tick-borne disease.  Lyme is caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  It is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis, “blacklegged”, ticks and causes chronic disease if left untreated.  Once infected, most people develop a “bulls-eye” rash at the tick bite site.  Flu-like symptoms are common, but patients also develop swollen joints that can progress to “Lyme arthritis”.   

The moral is, take care to protect yourself when outdoors.  Wear long pants and sleeves when hiking and always check yourself for ticks!

Sources: Phys.org, CDC, MicrobeWiki, Wikipedia
 
 
About the Author
  • Kerry received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
You May Also Like
AUG 31, 2020
Microbiology
Finding a Weakness in an Emerging Drug-Resistant Pathogen
AUG 31, 2020
Finding a Weakness in an Emerging Drug-Resistant Pathogen
Candida auris is a fungal pathogen that was initially reported in 2009. Its origins are unclear, but it has been found i ...
SEP 23, 2020
Microbiology
Poxvirus Made Harmless After Removing One Gene
SEP 23, 2020
Poxvirus Made Harmless After Removing One Gene
Poxviruses are deadly viruses that are known to infect both animals and humans. Cowpox and monkeypox are both known to s ...
OCT 09, 2020
Microbiology
Two Early Relatives of Rubella Are Discovered
OCT 09, 2020
Two Early Relatives of Rubella Are Discovered
Rubella is a contagious, airborne viral infection that can lead to rash, fever, and sore throat. It's especially dangero ...
OCT 18, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Small RNA is Connected to Bacterial Pathogenicity
OCT 18, 2020
Small RNA is Connected to Bacterial Pathogenicity
It's thought that as much as half of the global population carries a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori in their stoma ...
NOV 01, 2020
Microbiology
SARS-CoV-2 Disrupts the Blood Brain Barrier
NOV 01, 2020
SARS-CoV-2 Disrupts the Blood Brain Barrier
SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 has to get into cells to cause infection. It does so with a spike protein on its surfa ...
NOV 05, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Painless Microneedle Patch Diagnoses Malaria in Minutes
NOV 05, 2020
Painless Microneedle Patch Diagnoses Malaria in Minutes
It looks like a Band-Aid — a small, adhesive patch that is applied directly to the skin. This simple, low-cost dia ...
Loading Comments...