Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
A Statewide survey of ticks parasitizing white-tailed deer was carried out in Maryland during November 1989 to assess the status of the deer tick, Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin, the major vector of
Lyme disease in the northeastern United States. Ticks were collected from deer carcasses brought in by hunters at 23 check stations (one per county). A total of 3,437 I. dammini were collected from 538 of 1,281 deer (42%), together with 2,013 Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) and 23 Amblyomma americanum (L.) from 34 and 0.5% of deer respectively. I. dammini prevalence ranged from 0 to 79% of deer and mean abundance from 0 to 7.3 ticks per deer at different check stations.
Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, infection rates in ticks ranged from 0 to 21%, with a mean of 8%. Deer-tick density and spirochete infection rates varied with physiographic region and were low in the Appalachian, intermediate in the Piedmont, and high in the Western and Eastern Coastal Plains regions. County-based human case rates correlated positively with I. dammini abundance. We concluded that I. dammini was well established except in the mountainous western region of Maryland and was involved in
Lyme disease transmission.