August 6, 2020

Troubling: Birds That Spread Lyme Disease

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Birds are more important than previously recognized as hosts for Lyme disease-causing bacteria, according to a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is responsible for Lyme disease, was known to be carried by white-footed mice, wood rats, western gray squirrels, and other small mammals, but fewer studies have looked at the role of birds as reservoirs.

“The role of birds in the maintenance of Lyme disease bacteria in California is poorly understood,” said lead author Erica Newman, a UC Berkeley PhD student. “This is the most extensive study of the role of birds in Lyme disease ecology in the western United States, and the first to consider the diversity of bird species, their behaviors, and their habitats in identifying which birds are truly the most important as carriers.”<<<Read More>>>

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