Emergence of Lyme disease on treeless islands in Scotland, UK

Millins, C. et al. (2021) Emergence of Lyme disease on treeless islands in Scotland, UK. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 27(2), pp. 538-546. (doi: 10.3201/eid2702.203862) (PMID:33496237) (PMCID:PMC7853560)

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Lyme disease is usually associated with forested habitats but has recently emerged on treeless islands in the Western Isles of Scotland. The environmental and human components of Lyme disease risk in open habitats remain unknown. We quantified the environmental hazard and risk factors for human tick bite exposure among treeless islands with low and high Lyme disease incidence in the Western Isles. We found a higher prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato–infected ticks on high-incidence than on low-incidence islands (6.4% vs. 0.7%); we also found that residents of high-incidence islands reported increased tick bite exposure. Most tick bites (72.7%) occurred <1 km from the home, including many in home gardens. Residents of high Lyme disease incidence islands reported increasing problems with ticks; many suggested changing deer distribution as a potential driver. We highlight the benefits of an integrated approach in understanding the factors that contribute to Lyme disease emergence.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:M.V. was funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant agreement no. 852957). J.Y. was supported by a Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering studentship funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, Swindon, UK.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Viana, Dr Mafalda and Biek, Professor Roman and Johnson, Dr Paul and Millins, Dr Caroline and Gilbert, Dr Lucy
Authors: Millins, C., Leo, W., MacInnes, I., Ferguson, J., Charlesworth, G., Nayar, D., Davison, R., Yardley, J., Kilbride, E., Huntley, S., Gilbert, L., Viana, M., Johnson, P., and Biek, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publisher:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ISSN (Online):1080-6059
Published Online:21 January 2021
First Published:First published in Emerging Infectious Diseases 27(2):538-546
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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