Tick-transmitted infectious diseases in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The epidemiologic concept of tick-transmitted diseases has increased in importance with the recognition of the emerging infectious diseases, Lyme borreliosis, human monocytotropic and granulocytotropic ehrlichioses, and three different babesioses. Effective public health control of these diseases would depend upon critical knowledge of the vector biology of the ticks that transmit them. Rocky Mountain spotted fever and the human ehrlichioses are life-threatening yet treatable diseases. A major problem remains establishment of the diagnosis when treatment decisions are being made. Clinical manifestations, other than erythema migrans for Lyme borreliosis, do not provide strong diagnostic clues. Ehrlichiae or babesiae are often not detected in peripheral blood smears. Frequently there are no antibodies to these diverse agents at the time of presentation, and isolation does not yield sensitive and timely results. Polymerase chain reaction, still a research tool, promises the greatest sensitivity, specificity, and timeliness. Prevention by vaccines is not yet a reality, although OspA-based vaccines offer hope for the prevention of Lyme disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-269
Number of pages33
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Fingerprint

Lyme Disease
Ticks
Ehrlichiosis
Communicable Diseases
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Ehrlichia
Emerging Communicable Diseases
Erythema
Vaccines
Public Health
Sensitivity and Specificity
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Antibodies
Research

Keywords

  • Babesia
  • Babesiosis
  • Borrelia
  • Ehrlichia
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Lyme borreliosis
  • Rickettsia
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Tick
  • Zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Tick-transmitted infectious diseases in the United States. / Walker, David.

In: Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 19, 1998, p. 237-269.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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