IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 4306: Passive Surveillance of Human-Biting Ixodes scapularis Ticks in Massachusetts from 2015 & ndash;2019

This study aimed to analyze human-biting Ixodes scapularis ticks submitted to TickReport tick testing service from 2015–2019 in Massachusetts to (1) examine possible patterns of pathogen-positive adult and nymphal ticks over time and (2) explore how socioeconomic factors can influence tick submissions. A passive surveillance data set of ticks and tick-borne pathogens was conducted over 5 years (2015–2019) in Massachusetts. The percentages of four tick-borne pathogens: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, and Borrelia miyamotoi were determined by Massachusetts county and by month and year. Regression models were used to examine the association between zip-code-level socioeconomic factors and submissions. A total of 13,598 I. scapularis ticks were submitted to TickReport from Massachusetts residents. The infection rate of B. burgdorferi, A. phagocytophilum, and B. microti was 39%, 8%, and 7% in adult ticks; 23%, 6%, and 5% in nymphal ticks, respectively. A relatively higher level of education was associated with high tick submission. Passive surveillance of human-biting ticks and associated pathogens is important for monitoring tick-borne diseases, detecting areas with potentially high risks, and providing public information. Socioeconomic factors should be considered to produce more generalizable passive surveillance data and to target potentially underserved areas.
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research