It's an article about Dr. Robert Lane's studies on Lyme disease vectors. You may have heard about Dr. Lane's studies on western fence lizards and how they have proteins in their blood that stops Borrelia burgdorferi in its tracks.
Well, there is some mention of that older research in this article - but there is also new research on western gray squirrels as the primary reservoir host for Lyme disease in California.
Two short excerpts:
"The last time I wrote about the disease was eleven years ago, shortly after May Kuo, then one of Lane’s graduate students, had identified the substance in the blood of western fence lizards and southern alligator lizards that kills the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. An infected western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) can no longer transmit the disease after a blood meal from one of either of these lizard species. The substance, for the record, is a set of proteins called the alternative complement pathway. It’s a good thing both lizards are abundant within the tick’s California range. Other lizards have no apparent effect on the pathogen."
"Broadening the search, another team trapped a total of 222 western gray squirrels at China Camp State Park in Marin County, Annandel State Park in Sonoma County, and, once again, Hopland, as well as other areas from Humboldt County to Los Angeles. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi infection was highest in the northwestern counties. The researchers also found a strong relationship between western gray squirrel infection prevalence and the incidence rates of human cases of Lyme disease on a county basis."
Much more at this link - check it out:
Ticks, Squirrels, Lizards, and Spirochetes.