Date: October 2, 2015
Source: American Society for Microbiology
Tick species not normally present in the United States are arriving here on migratory birds. Some of these ticks carry disease-causing Ricksettia species, and some of those species are exotic to the US. The research is published on October 2nd in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
In the study, the investigators examined thousands of migratory birds that had just arrived in the US, after having flown from Central or South America. Three percent of the birds carried exotic ticks. Based on the total number of migratory birds arriving in the US each spring--in the billions--the investigators estimated that more than 19 million exotic ticks are introduced into the US each spring, said Emily B. Cohen, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC.