A New Brunswick tick and Lyme disease researcher says tick populations in the province are not only still on the rise — they’re also carrying new diseases.
Mount Allison University biology professor Dr. Vett Lloyd says traditionally people have just monitored the most common type of Lyme disease but now we’re seeing different types start to be introduced into this region like European Lyme disease which can present a challenge when it comes to diagnosis.
Dr. Lloyd says the blood tests don’t always work.
“If you’ve been infected with a different species of Lyme disease that the blood test doesn’t pick up, the blood test will do what it’s supposed to do but it’s not what you’ve got,” she says.
Dr. Lloyd says if you have Lyme it won’t make a difference to you what type you have.
“That’s like saying it’s different if you’ve been bitten by a poodle versus a golden retriever — you’ve still got dog bite. The main difference is that the blood test will detect one type of Lyme disease but not the other. So it makes it that much harder to get diagnosed.”
Lloyd calls ticks walking bags of pathogens and tells us the deer tick virus is one of the diseases people are now keeping an eye on which she says can cause cephalitis and meningitis-type syndromes.
Photo: DANIEL ST. LOUIS.