Lyme-carrying ticks live longer—and could spread farther—thanks to warmer winters

[CanLyme Note: The research referred to in this article was aided by a grant via the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation’s Venture Grant’s program.]

“Experiments suggest infection makes ticks more active in winter

PHOENIX—Fearing a case of potentially debilitating Lyme disease, countless hikers postpone their trips to the woods until winter, when the ticks that carry the disease have disappeared for the season. Or so many people had thought.

Research reported here this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology has revealed black-legged ticks infected with the Lyme disease–causing microbe thrive in below-freezing weather and can be active even in winter. The finding suggests the variable winter conditions brought on by climate change could increase ticks’ activity, boosting the odds that people will encounter the ticks and come down with Lyme disease. …”

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