Southern tick-associated rash illness: A newly recognized tick-borne disease - DVM
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Southern tick-associated rash illness: A newly recognized tick-borne disease


DVM Best Practices



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Recommendations for prevention of STARI are similar to those for preventing other tick-borne diseases. Tick infested areas should be avoided whenever possible. When exposure to tick infested areas cannot be avoided, precautions to prevent tick bites are recommended, including wearing protective clothing and using chemical repellants. Wearing light-colored clothing, performing frequent inspections for recently acquired ticks, and promptly removing ticks whenever they are found will also help prevent transmission of pathogens from ticks to people.

Summary Borrelia lonestari is one of the more recently recognized tick-borne pathogens in North America, and appears to be the etiologic agent responsible for many cases of so-called "southern Lyme." At present, disease due to B. lonestari has not been reported from any domestic animal. However, additional research is needed to determine if dogs or other animals are susceptible to infection or develop disease due to this human pathogen. Dogs and cats in endemic areas are commonly exposed to and infested with A. americanum. Prevention of tick infestations and tick-borne diseases requires consistent use of effective tick preventatives throughout the local transmission season.

Dr. Little is an associate professor of parasitology at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a 1993 graduate of Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1996. Dr. Little's research focuses on ectoparasites and the diseases they transmit.


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