Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To identify hosts that may serve as European reservoirs for the agent of Lyme disease, , we determined whether nymphal feed mainly on particular mice ( or ), voles () or on sand lizards () and whether the abundance of these hosts corresponds to the seasonal activity of the subadult stages of the vector tick. In all sites, the mice appeared most heavily infested by larvae; at least seven parasitized each mouse, about three per vole and four per lizard. Many fewer nymphal parasitized and than did larvae. Although more than 30 times as many larval than nymphal ticks parasitized the two most abundant hosts ( and ), about 15 times as many fed on and twice as many on lizards. Nymphal and larval ticks fed on rodents at about the same time. Lizards were most abundantly parasitized by nymphs somewhat earlier than by larvae. Early in the season of transmission of Lyme disease, virtually all as well as lizards were potentially exposed to spirochetes borne by nymphal . We concluded that larval and nymphal differentially parasitize different hosts. Because so many of these nymphs feed on them, may more effectively serve as reservoirs for the agent of Lyme disease than do other putative reservoir hosts. The presence of lizards may inhibit transmission.


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