Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tick Borne Disease Underlying Cause

Bacterial Tick Borne Disease
Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, can be transmitted by:

  • Deer tick:
    • The deer tick is actually more common on wild mice than on deer.
    • These ticks are much smaller than the common dog tick
    • Found in northern and north-central US
  • Western black-legged ticks:
    • These ticks are much smaller than the common dog tick
    • Found in the Pacific US and British Columbia
  • Lone star tick:
    • Has white dot in the middle of the back
    • Some distribution in the northeastern US extending into the southeastern US

Ehrlichiosis, caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis, can be transmitted by:
  • Ehrlichiosis tick
  • American dog tick
    • Found in the Southeastern US
  • Deer tick
  • Lone Star tick

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, can be transmitted by:
  • American Dog tick
    • Found in the Southeastern US
  • Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
    • Found in the Western US

Other rare bacterial tick borne diseases include:

Viral Tick Borne Disease
Colorado tick fever, caused by an Orbivirus, can be transmitted by:
  • American Dog tick
    • Found in the Southeastern US
  • Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni)
    • Found in the Western US

Rare tick borne viral diseases include:

Parasitic Tick Borne Disease
  • Babesiosis
    • A rare parasitic infection caused by Babesia microti.

Last Updated: Oct 5, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tick Borne Disease References
  1. Bratton RL, Corey R. Tick-borne disease. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jun 15;71(12):2323-30. [15999870]
  2. Cale DF, McCarthy MW. Treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children. Ann Pharmacother. 1997 Apr;31(4):492-4. [9101014]
  3. Chapman AS, Bakken JS, Folk SM, et al. Tickborne Rickettsial Diseases Working Group; CDC. Diagnosis and management of tickborne rickettsial diseases: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichioses, and anaplasmosis--United States: a practical guide for physicians and other health-care and public health professionals. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2006 Mar 31;55(RR-4):1-27. [16572105]
  4. Purvis JJ, Edwards MS. Doxycycline use for rickettsial disease in pediatric patients. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Sep;19(9):871-4. [11001111]
  5. Sexton DJ, Kaye KS. Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a clinician's dilemma. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Apr 14;163(7):769-74. [12695267]
  6. Treadwell TA, Holman RC, Clarke MJ, Krebs JW, Paddock CD, Childs JE. Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the United States, 1993-1996. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2000 Jul-Aug;63(1-2):21-6. [11357990]
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