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Lyme Disease


Lyme Disease Transmission


The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, normally lives in mice, squirrels and other small animals. It is transmitted among these animals – and to humans – through the bites of certain species of ticks. In the northeastern and north-central United States, the black-legged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis) transmits Lyme disease. In the Pacific coastal United States, the disease is spread by the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus). Other major tick species found in the United States have not been shown to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi.

 


Blacklegged ticks transmit Lyme disease


 

Blacklegged (or deer) ticks (Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus)                                                          Blacklegged (or deer) ticks (Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus) can transmit several tick-borne diseases including anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Lyme disease. An adult tick is pictured at left, though it is the smaller nymphal stage ticks which most commonly bite humans.



This image shows the stages and relative sizes of these tick species. Only the blacklegged ticks are known to transmit Lyme disease.
For large image click here