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Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Mar;16(3):441-6. doi: 10.3201/eid1603.091333.

Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia spp. in ticks removed from persons, Texas, USA.

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University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas 76107-2699, USA.


Data regarding the type, frequency, and distribution of tick-borne pathogens and bacterial agents are not widely available for many tick species that parasitize persons in the southern United States. We therefore analyzed the frequency and identity of pathogens and bacterial agents in ticks removed from humans and subsequently submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control Program, from October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2008. The data showed associations of bacterial agents and potential vectors. Tick-related illnesses may pose unidentified health risks in areas such as Texas, where incidence of human disease related to tick bites is low but well above zero and where ticks are not routinely suspected as the cause of disease. Cause, treatment, and prevention strategies can be better addressed through collecting sufficient data to establish baseline assessments of risk.

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