1921
Volume 47, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645
USD

Abstract

Abstract

In areas where the agent of Lyme disease is intensely enzootic, the mouse reservoirs may be universally infected. Because a large proportion of the vector tick population appears to feed upon these hosts, the prevalence of infection in the vectors should approach 100%. However, infection in host-seeking nymphal ticks in nature rarely exceeds 40%. To help reconcile this apparent paradox, we examined whether estimates of prevalence might differ if we did not assume that infected ticks are randomly or uniformly distributed within a site. Nymphal were collected by dragging a series of 10-meter replicates within an intensely enzootic site. Estimates of the prevalence of spirochetal infection, based upon the monthly means of individual 10-meter collections, were then compared with estimates derived by pooling all samples. Host-seeking ticks tended to cluster. The Lyme disease spirochete was present in 15.6% of 469 pooled ticks. When the prevalence estimate was based solely on ticks in clusters that contained one or more infected ticks, however, at least 50% of the ticks were infected. We conclude that nymphal deer ticks infected by Lyme disease spirochetes tend to aggregate spatially in nature, and that prevalence estimates based upon a mean value for pools may be misleading.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.1992.47.55
1992-07-01
2017-11-24
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.1992.47.55
Loading

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error