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    Author(s): Thomas H. Nicholls; Steven M. Callister
    Date: 1996
    Source: Journal of Medical Entomology
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: North Central Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (640.0 KB)


    In a tick-spirochete survey conducted from fall 1989 through fall 1992 in northwestern Wisconsin, 4,256 birds (composed of 91 species) were examined for ticks. Infestations were recorded for 400 birds (composed of 30 species). Of 1,184 ticks taken from 335 birds (composed of 26 species), 60 (5%) Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard) from eight species of birds were infected with the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi (Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt and Brenner). Similar surveys conducted in 1990 and 1991 in Minnesota and Michigan yielded 223 H. leporispalustris from 61 birds (composed of 23 species), all free of spirochetes. However, 1 B. burgdorferi-infected Ixodes scapularis (Say) was found on 1 bird species in Minnesota. Most ticks were collected in fall from ground-foraging birds such as thrushes and sparrows. These results confirm that tick-infested birds are important in disseminating Lyme disease spirochetes and may also play a role as sources for infecting ticks.

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    Nicholls, Thomas H.; Callister, Steven M. 1996. Lyme Disease Spirochetes in Ticks Collected from Birds in Midwestern United States. Journal of Medical Entomology. 33(3): 379-384.


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    Borrelia burgdorferi, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes dammini, Ixodes scapularis, migratory birds, Lyme disease.

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