TICKS, TESTING & TEXAS
Lyme studies in Texas:
Of the 1235 tick samples collected, 109 were identified as I. scapularis. Infection with B. burgdorferi was detected in 45% of the I. scapularis ticks collected. The model presented here indicates a wide distribution for I. scapularis, with higher probability of occurrence along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Results of the modeling approach applied predict that habitat suitable for the distribution of I. scapularis in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region will remain relatively stable until 2050. Click here for study: Implications of climate change on the distribution of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis and risk for Lyme disease in the Texas-Mexico transboundary region.
Lyme in Texas is underreported given the uneducated medical environment, and traditional 2 tiered testing failing 30-70% of the time. Preventing gestational and pediatric Lyme in the acute stage is imperative to maintain a high quality of life for Texas families.
The TX Department of Health & Human Services reports 85 new Lyme infections a year, as of 2020. We are working to connect the dots on whether that includes each local county infections, and where those numbers are from.
Lyme disease is supposed to be investigated since it appears on the "notifiable conditions" list. Each positive case, although the guidelines are not inclusive of all the bands, is supposed to be investigated. You have to have all 5 bands on a Western Blot test to be CDC positive. Most Lyme patients immune systems are no longer working properly to to mount enough resistance to show that many bands.
Kristina's sickest child, had the least amount of bands. This is commonly heard among the patient community. Having a better diagnostic like the specialty labs veteran patients use, is our best chance of getting better as we have.
Bay Area Lyme has funded over 50 projects to find the best tests for Lyme. Cohen Foundation and MIT have recently funded a big lottery to fund the top submissions for a working test. We are on our way Mom's!
Instructions for Submitting Ticks for Laboratory Testing IN TEXAS
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has partnered with the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) Tick-Borne Disease Research Laboratory to test ticks for disease agents in the Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia genera using molecular methods. Ticks must first be submitted to the DSHS Zoonosis Control office for identification after which they will be forwarded to UNTHSC for testing. There is no charge for testing, however this service is available only to Texas residents submitting specimens from a Texas address and for ticks that were attached to a human. Submissions of ticks that were not attached to a human or that were received from outside of Texas will not be tested and will not be returned to the submitter.
Studies in Texas- Veterinary studies as a precursor to human maps of disease: