Blood donor infects premature infants with Babesia

Babesia is a parasite which infects red blood cells, causing symptoms similar to those seen with malaria. It’s typically transmitted by a tick bite but can be acquired through contaminated blood transfusions. The disease can be extremely difficult to recognize in adults. Imagine the challenge of diagnosing it in premature infants.

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European Ixodes tick found to carry Alpha Gal protein associated with red meat allergy

Studies have found an association between tick bites, specifically from the species Amblyomma americanum, also known as the Lone Star tick, and red meat allergies. “An association between tick bites, the development of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to galactose-α-1, 3-galactose (α-Gal or Alpha Gal) and red meat allergy has recently been reported,” explains the authors of an article published in PLoS One journal. [1]

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Congenital transmission of babesiosis: two case reports

Congenital babesiosis is considered a rare disease with only nine cases reported in the U.S. - all in the northeastern region where babesiosis is endemic. Now, the authors of an article published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society [1] discuss two new cases of congenital babesiosis.

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Case Report: Fatal Powassan virus infection: a.k.a. Deer tick virus

It is estimated that 1% - 3% of blacklegged ticks (I. scapularis) in the northeastern United States may be infected with Powassan virus (POWV), lineage II, otherwise known as the deer tick virus (DTV).

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Borrelia miyamotoi detected in Canada

In 2013, the first cases of Borrelia miyamotoi in North America were reported in the northeastern United States. Cases have also been described in Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and the upper Midwestern United States. Ixodes ticks infected with B. miyamotoi have been found in other regions including several Canadian provinces, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal by Kadkhoda and colleagues. [1] But human cases of the disease have yet to be identified in this region.

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High prevalence of Babesia microti in Suffolk County, New York

Five tick-borne pathogens were recently identified in New York and Connecticut using a multiplex real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay. The assay was able to simultaneously detect and differentiate Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Babesia microti, and the Powassan virus in I. scapularis (black-legged) ticks.

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Cats carry all types of ticks and tick-borne diseases

Did you know the cat you may be cuddling with on your couch every evening could be infected with a host of tick-borne diseases? Unlike our canine friends, cats are typically not symptomatic when it comes to such diseases. But as researchers have found, that doesn’t mean they are free from disease.

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Could ketamine help manage pain in patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome?

Lyme disease patients oftentimes suffer from ongoing illness following treatment. A study by Bechtold and colleagues found that 31% of patients remained in significant pain for months after a three-week course of doxycycline to treat an EM rash. [1] Six percent of their patients developed post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Now, a new case report examines the effectiveness of intravenous ketamine on managing pain in a patient with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

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Doctors agree Lyme disease patients at-risk for suicide are under-recognized group

There are many documented cases of patients with Lyme disease suffering from suicidal or homicidal tendencies.  In the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, psychiatrist Robert Bransfield, MD, expresses his concern for this under-recognized patient population.  “Suicidal and homicidal tendencies after Lyme disease are clearly an ignored problem that deserves greater attention.” [1]

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Confirmation of Borrelia burgdorferi in South America

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb s.l.), the causative agent of Lyme disease, was first reported in 2013 in Ixodes aragaoi ticks in Uruguayan Pampa and has since been found in Argentina and Chile.  Now, a new study reports the results of a state surveillance program investigating the presence of Bb in Ixodes spp ticks in Brazilian Pampa.

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