Retraction: Still no evidence that deer flies or deer keds transmit B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum

My friends in the field of entomology have been kind enough to point out the flaws in a recent All Things Lyme blog. The blog discussed the article “Detection of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis pathogens via PCR in Pennsylvania deer ked,” published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Vector Ecology.


by Daniel J. Cameron, MD MPH

  1. The Journal of Vector Ecology was talking about deer keds seen below (family Hippoboscidae, genus Lipoptena), not deer flies (family Tabanidae, genus Chrysops). Thomas Mather pointed out a fun blog about this “tick with wings” at

2. The Anaplasma phagocytophilum identified in the paper has not been identified in people.

3. The following conclusion by the authors was included but not highlighted “no evidence thus far that suggests that deer ked bite transmit B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum to humans.”

Thank you for your understanding.

We need to encourage more funding for entomological research, so we are able to bring solutions to fruition to reduce tick populations and thereby reduce Lyme and tick-borne diseases.  Research to determine if the “deer keds” are capable of transmitting the pathogens to humans should also be considered.

  1. Buss M, Case L, Kearney B, Coleman C, Henning JD. Detection of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis pathogens via PCR in Pennsylvania deer ked. J Vector Ecol. 2016;41(2):292-294.


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3 years ago

or related bartonellae to humans by the bite of an infected deer ked and fa suggest that a potential role of bartonellae in the etiology of deer ked dermatitis should be investigated further.

5 years ago

My daughter got bit by deer flies 4 times last week and had the typical bullseye around the site. I didn’t think much about it until this week she started to complain about joint pain, headache, and fever. So I looked it up and found your article. Could it be related? Could be a fluke. I am going to find a doctor that does lymes testing just to make sure. I do know there is so much we don’t understand and just brush things under the catogory of stress instead of treating what is really there.