Aolores Hill, parasitologist for USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, collects the blood-sucking ticks as part of a 5-year project to biologically control the pests with microscopic roundworms, called nematodes.
Hill’s goal is to formulate the worms into a product that could be sprayed in residential areas, like backyards, where homeowners can be bitten by ticks infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. In 1996, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, received more than 16,000 reports of the tickborne disease. Ninety percent came from the northeastern United States, where I. scapularis is most prevalent.
Her top tick-fighting recruits include nine strains of the nematode species Steinernema and four strains of Heterorhabditis. Both are well known to science, she says. While harmless to higher vertebrates (humans and livestock, for instance), the nematodes are renowned for attacking many insects pests. Read more…
Additional article...University of Vermont Extension
VLA COMMENT: the infectious tick came about in Plum Island, a high security bioweapon lab off the coast of Lyme, Connecticut and East Hampton, New York. The mission was to weaponize vector insects such as mosquitos and ticks. Lyme Disease is a plague and is killing and disabling thousands and thousand of people across America and europe including children and dogs.
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