Tickborne Diseases of the United States
In the United States, some ticks carry pathogens that can cause human disease, including:
- Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.
- Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Most human cases of babesiosis in the U.S. are caused by Babesia microti. Babesia microti is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and is found primarily in the northeast and upper midwest.
- Borrelia mayonii infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the upper midwestern United States. It has been found in blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Borrelia mayonii is a new species and is the only species besides B. burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease in North America.
- Borrelia miyamotoi infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the U.S. It is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and has a range similar to that of Lyme disease.
- Colorado tick fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni). It occurs in the the Rocky Mountain states at elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.
- Ehrlichiosis is transmitted to humans by the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found primarily in the southcentral and eastern U.S.
- Heartland virus infection has been identified in eight patients in Missouri and Tennessee as of March 2014. Studies suggest that Lone Star ticks may transmit the virus. It is unknown if the virus may be found in other areas of the U.S.
- Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern U.S. and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.
- Powassan disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the groundhog tick (Ixodes cookei). Cases have been reported primarily from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region.
- Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum).
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sangunineus) in the U.S. The brown dog tick and other tick species are associated with RMSF in Central and South America.
- STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found in the southeastern and eastern U.S.
- Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.
- Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). Tularemia occurs throughout the U.S.
- 364D rickettsiosis (Rickettsia phillipi, proposed) is transmitted to humans by the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis ticks). This is a new disease that has been found in California.
HHS joint webinar! Novel and Emerging Tickborne Diseases - Agents, Clinical Features, and Surveillance
- Krause PJ, Narasimhan S, Wormser GP, Barbour AG, Platonov AE, Brancato J, et al. Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato seroreactivity and seroprevalence in the northeastern United States. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 July.
- Muehlenbachs A, Fata CR, Lambert AJ, Paddock CD, Velez JO, Blau DM, Staples JE, Karlekar MB, Bhatnagar J, Nasci RS, Zaki SR. Heartland virus associated death in Tennessee. Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Jun 9. pii: ciu434. [Epub ahead of print]
- Page last reviewed: February 8, 2016
- Page last updated: May 27, 2016
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