Interagency Cooperation Drives Discovery of Lyme Disease Spirochete in Exotic Tick

“Since inception, the primary goal of the tick program has been to collect and test blacklegged ticks because of the public health risk they pose. However, over time and through targeted collections throughout the Commonwealth, established populations of additional tick species have been discovered. One of those species is the newly invasive Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis). Since its first discovery in New Jersey in 2017, it has rapidly expanded its range across the mid-Atlantic to now inhabit 15 states. The Asian longhorned tick is a known carrier of human pathogens throughout its native range in southeast Asia, but none had been discovered in the U.S. In 2019, our statewide sampling of blacklegged tick nymphs led to the first collections  in Pennsylvania of Asian longhorned ticks. A total of 668 Asian longhorned ticks were collected from four southeastern Pennsylvania counties via dragging understory vegetation and leaf litter with a felt cloth.”

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