Lyme Disease Halifax

Lyme Disease – Information on Lyme Disease- Life stories of Lyme disease

Browsing Posts tagged deer

June 18, 2014

In July of 2012 Babesia odocoilei was determined to be the cause of death of a game ranched elk in central Saskatchewan. Another 10 bull elk on the farm were suspected of having died of this parasite within the previous few weeks but unfortunately autopsies were not performed to confirm the diagnosis. This was the first report of Babesia odocoilei in Canada. Babesia odocoilei is a single-celled parasite that infects and destroys red blood cells causing infected animals to become anemic, lethargic and to lose weight. The parasite is transmitted by ticks and to date the only species known to be a competent vector for this parasite is Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged or deer tick, although Dermacentor spp. have been implicated in some cases. Ixodes scapularis is not endemic to Saskatchewan.

Babesia odocoilei is endemic in white-tailed deer in the southern and eastern United States with prevalence exceeding 50% in some areas. Infections have also been reported in the north-central and north-eastern US. The parasite natural infects other cervid and bovid species and these infections are often fatal in elk, reindeer and caribou.

To investigate this novel disease occurrence further, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC), Western and Northern Region, along with other researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) initiated a study to assess the prevalence of infection in farmed and wild cervids in Saskatchewan, both prospectively, using ongoing submissions to our diagnostic lab, and retrospectively, using formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues archived from diagnostic cases dating back to 1970. We first validated techniques and primers for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test specific for B. odocoilei and have begun the process of testing spleens from these cases. Although testing and analysis is not complete we have so far confirmed B. odocoilei infection in one other game farmed elk and in a wild white-tailed deer in the province (see map). Preliminary results have detected other positive cases but we are doing additional testing to confirm the results.

This work has several important outcomes. First it has allowed us to develop PCR diagnostic tools to identify a disease agent which would not normally be detected during autopsy of an animal; anemia and weight loss would be observed, but B. odocoilei can only be detected with blood smears or by using PCR. These tests are not normally undertaken, especially if the disease is not thought to occur in the area. Secondly, we have determined this parasite occurs sporadically in the province but to date we have not identified any endemic foci. Since to our knowledge B. odocoilei can only be transmitted by Ixodes scapularis, a tick not native to Saskatchewan, it raises the question of how these animals are becoming infected. It is likely that B. odocoilei infected I. scapularis ticks are being transported to Saskatchewan on migratory birds. Previously researchers have shown that between 0.35 and 2.2 % of migratory birds carry these ticks, which translates to between 50 million to 175 million Ixodes scapularis ticks being dispersed across Canada each spring by migratory birds. The sporadic occurrence of B. odocoilei infections in Saskatchewan cervids has interesting parallels to the sporadic occurrence of Lyme disease in the province, another disease that requires Ixodes scapularis for transmission. In this latter case the ticks present on migratory birds are infected with Borrellia burgdorferi , the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease.

Read full story here:

http://www.healthywildlife.ca/babesia-odocoilei-recently-detected-in-canada/

Lyme Disease: The Perfect Storm Is Headed Our Way Leo Galland, M.D. | Apr 18, 2012 08:06 AM EDT

Blood-sucking ticks coming to a field and forest near you.

That may sound like the latest horror film, but unfortunately it is a reality due to a surge in ticks that spread Lyme disease this spring.

Fortunately, the media interest in Lyme disease appears to be growing with the threat. At the start of the month I was interviewed on Martha Stewart Living Radio about Lyme disease.

The Perfect Storm for Lyme Disease

A perfect storm happens when two conditions converge to amplify each other’s effects. Two conditions are creating what may become the perfect storm for transmission of Lyme disease this spring:

An unusually warm winter, which left deer ticks alive,hungry and looking for a meal.

A dramatic flip-flop in the acorn cycle: A large crop of acorns in the fall of 2010 and a very small crop in 2011 in the East. This means fewer mice for the ticks to feed upon, as I explain below.

These two conditions mean tons of deer ticks that are hungry and lacking their typical food supply. You could be their next meal.

Ticks Transmit Lyme and Other Diseases

The bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, are transmitted to humans by the bite of a deer tick (Ixodes dammini).

Deer ticks live for two years and in their lifetimes take only three blood meals: the first as newborn larvae, the second a year later as immature nymphs and the third a season later as adults.

Mice and Other Rodents Carry Ticks Too

If you don’t see any deer and think the coast is clear, think again.

FULL STORY:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/leo-galland-md/lyme-disease_b_1429984.html

So the lone ticks don’t just fall from the clear blue sky…..off of that one poor bird ? Huh ?!! …imagine that !! Yes dear Deer, you should force the issue ! Shannon Park – North end Dartmouth..the deer that graze by the new bridge ramp are the same ones from Bedford. The ticks your Vet’s are now pulling off your pets are testing positive for LD. How long will it take for Dartmouth to be endemic?

**************
More than 1,800 black-legged ticks were found on deer heads collected from hunters last year, and 183 more submitted to the state for identification were confirmed, compared with 29 found on deer heads the year before and 45 that were submitted and confirmed, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The ticks, some carrying Lyme disease, have especially shown up in eastern and southern Ohio.
The deer tick was first found in Ohio in 1989, and in the following two decades, only about 50 of the thousands of ticks found in the state were identified as black-legged ticks, state public health entomologist Richard Gary said. In 2010, 45 deer ticks were confirmed, giving officials their first indication of a change.

See full story:

http://www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com/article/20120120/NEWS01/201200304/Tick-population-out-control

By JOHN McPHEE Health Reporter
Tue, Aug 24 – 6:44 PM

White-tailed deer will be getting a dose of pesticides along with their treats as part of an effort to fight Lyme disease in the province.

Deer bait stations are expected to be installed as part of a federal study in Bedford and outside Lunenburg next month, an official with Halifax Regional Municipality said Monday.

Similar stations have been very effective in reducing black-legged tick populations in the United States, said Richard MacLellan, manager of HRM’s sustainable environment management office.

 

Read Story here:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1198354.html