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This series of articles describes the first large-scale experiment designed to explore the efficacy of reducing the risk of tick-borne
disease in highly endemic communities of the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States through deployment of a self-application device that treats white-tailed deer with acaricide to prevent feeding by adult Ixodes scapularis ticks and all stages of Amblyomma americanum ticks where both species occur. The results of the multicenter study are reported in the accompanying articles in this issue. This article describes the background and rationale for this experiment by reviewing relevant literature on current tick-borne
disease epidemics and previous efforts to reduce the public health burden of
Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.