ScienceDaily (June 24, 2011) — The most common tick-borne disease in humans is Lyme borreliosis. Extensive field and laboratory tests have revealed that the Borrelia bacterium is present in a larger proportion of ticks than has been shown by earlier studies. Another finding is that migratory birds play an important role in the spreading of ticks and pathogenic agents borne by ticks.
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The researcher working on this project, Vivian Kjelland, found a strong correlation between the spread of Borrelia bacteria and birds in Norway - and discovered a decline in the hare population had little to do with Borrelia infection.
Perhaps the most interesting or surprising part of her research is this: Kjelland's doctoral thesis indicates that there is a lower incidence of the Borrelia bacterium in ticks that have sucked blood from deer and moose than in ticks collected from the ground/vegetation.
One thing to keep in mind with research in Norway as well as other countries is that the shouts of "kill all the deer" in order to stop Lyme disease may not be the best decision, as ticks will colonize other animals and take blood meals from them instead. What happens all depends on the local ecology and which host animals are available.
We can't kill all the potential hosts for ticks. Other solutions to fighting Lyme disease and related tickborne illnesses need to be found.
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