Posted by Staff on March 1, 2015
Birds are more important than previously recognized as hosts for Lyme disease-causing bacteria in California, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers.
Image/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The findings, published Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the journal PLOS ONE, shine a light on an important new reservoir in thewestern United States for the corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, responsible for Lyme disease. Wood rats,western gray squirrels and other small mammals have been identified in previous studies as wildlife hosts of the Lyme disease spirochete bacterium in California, but fewer studies have looked at the role of birds as reservoirs.