Ticks are more dangerous than previously thought

Ticks.Photo: Kyrre Lien / SCANPIX .

Forest ticks are probably spreading diseases as yet unknown, and this means that  patients  are at of never getting the right diagnosis, according to new research .

French scientists have studied how often pathogenic microorganisms may be present in tick species Ixodes ricnus, known as forest ticks in Norway.
Nearly 45 percent of the ticks tested were hosts to two or more microorganisms that may cause disease in humans.
These ticks, which are usually found in coastal areas up to Helgeland, is the most common type of ticks in Norway.

– In Sweden and Norway, the forest tick is most likely the carrier of more than 20 species of viruses, bacteria and protozoa that pose a danger to humans, especially for people with compromised immune systems, Thomas Jaenson, professor of medical entomology, says .
He stressed that many of the diseases may have long-lasting flu-like symptoms.

– This research shows that you should not take tick bites too lightly, and that you have to understand that such bites can be dangerous, says Jaenson, warning against dangerous disease combinations.
As an example, he uses the Borrelia infection, which becomes much worse if the patient also gets infected with Anaplasma, a bacterium that affects the immune system.
Every year several new diseases transmitted by ticks are  discovered worldwide. The most common disease that is transmitted by forest ticks in Norway is the Lyme disease caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia.
The research results will be published in the upcoming edition of the journal Läkartidningen.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today