Tick-Borne Zoonoses in the United States: Persistent and Emerging Threats to Human Health
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Tick-Borne Zoonoses in the United States: Persistent and Emerging Threats to Human Health

  • Published Date:

    Dec 15 2017

  • Source:
    ILAR J. 58(3):319-335.
Filetype[PDF-1012.89 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    ILAR J
  • Description:
    In the United States, ticks transmit the greatest diversity of arthropod-borne pathogens and are responsible for the most cases of all vector-borne diseases. In recent decades, the number of reported cases of notifiable tick-borne diseases has steadily increased, geographic distributions of many ticks and tick-borne diseases have expanded, and new tick-borne disease agents have been recognized. In this review, we (1) describe the known disease agents associated with the most commonly human-biting ixodid ticks, (2) review the natural histories of these ticks and their associated pathogens, (3) highlight spatial and temporal changes in vector tick distributions and tick-borne disease occurrence in recent decades, and (4) identify knowledge gaps and barriers to more effective prevention of tick-borne diseases. We describe 12 major tick-borne diseases caused by 15 distinct disease agents that are transmitted by the 8 most commonly human-biting ixodid ticks in the United States. Notably, 40% of these pathogens were described within the last two decades. Our assessment highlights the importance of animal studies to elucidate how tick-borne pathogens are maintained in nature, as well as advances in molecular detection of pathogens which has led to the discovery of several new tick-borne disease agents.
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