The deer Lyme disconnect May 6, 2011 Massachusetts Lyme Disease Boston Globe





The deer Lyme disconnect May 6, 2011 Massachusetts Lyme Disease Boston Globe
..the idea that deer are the main culprit in the spread of Lyme disease is far from an established fact, according to scientists who study the problem. And the link between hunting and controlling the disease is even more tenuous...Deer became associated with ticks thanks, in part, says Ostfeld, to a 1979 scientific paper that described what was believed to be a new species of tick...“Deer tick is a discredited, incorrect, obsolete name,” says Ostfeld. “But as long as you’re calling it the deer tick, what animal are you going to accuse of fostering it?” In his book, Ostfeld analyzes more than a dozen studies comparing deer numbers with tick numbers. In most, deer were either eradicated or nearly eradicated in the area being studied. Overall, the results were startling...Researchers have also found that where deer are eliminated or reduced, even if the number of ticks declines, the number of infected immature ticks often increases, in part, it’s believed, because the small mammals that remain are likelier to transmit the B. burgdorferi bacterium...the scientific evidence as I’ve reviewed it, without any preconceived notion or political agenda or any other agenda, does not support the notion that tick numbers and Lyme disease risk are strongly correlated with deer numbers, and the data do not suggest that if you manage deer by hunting, you’ll reduce the number of Lyme cases.” Buy the book on Amazon: Lyme Disease: The Ecology of a Complex System

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