Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
Involvement of adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks in the transmission of
Lyme disease in Hailin County, Heilongjiang Province, China, is reported. In 1986 from April through August adult I. persulcatus was the dominant tick in this endemic area with an infection rate of 43% for the
Lyme disease spirochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi. The incidence of
Lyme disease cases presenting the symptom of erythema chronicum migrans (ECM) within this area was correlated with the seasonal abundance of adult I. persulcatus and the number of people bitten by ticks. The frequency of ECM formation in all age groups varied and was associated with the frequency of tick bites. In addition, a strain of B. burgdorferi was isolated from a pool of six female I. persulcatus collected from this area. We demonstrate that the seasonal abundance of adult I. persulcatus and its frequent attachment to humans result in the spring and summer transmission of
Lyme disease in this endemic area. The role of immature I. persulcatus in
Lyme disease transmission is apparently minimal.