Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 29, 2018) – The Rutgers co-authors of an article in the CDC’s flagship journal on the Asian longhorned tick, an exotic species identified in New Jersey last year that has since been reported in eight other U.S. states, are available to provide insight on the tick and its health implications.
The tick species – Haemaphysalis longicornis – is indigenous to northeastern Asia, where it has transmitted dangerous pathogens to humans. To date, however, there is no evidence that it has spread disease to humans or animals in the U.S., according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released today.
The senior author, Dr. William Halperin, is a professor of epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Other lead authors are members of the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers–New Brunswick.
Researchers affiliated with the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology identified the species when it was discovered on a sheep in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in August 2017. Further efforts, including a Rutgers-led statewide “Tick Blitz,” identified the ticks in six other New Jersey counties. Rutgers researchers also confirmed that Asian longhorned ticks have been present in New Jersey since at least 2013.
The ticks have also been found in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas, according to the CDC report.
“We have been monitoring this exotic tick to determine how it might survive in our environment and assess the disease risk it may pose. For now, we should be more concerned about our native ticks and the pathogens we know they carry such as Lyme disease,” said co-author Dina M. Fonseca, director of the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology.
Here’s a June Rutgers Today story about the Rutgers-led Tick Blitz with an image: https://news.rutgers.edu/rutgers-led-%E2%80%9Ctick-blitz%E2%80%9D-finds-exotic-longhorned-ticks-and-aggressive-lone-star-ticks-new-locations/20180530#.W-214-hKi71
Andrea Egizi, a co-author of the CDC report and visiting professor in the Department of Entomology/Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available to comment at [email protected]
Dina M. Fonseca, a co-author of the CDC report and director of the Center for Vector Biology and professor of entomology, ecology & evolution, microbiology at Rutgers–New Brunswick, is available to comment at [email protected]
William Halperin, senior author of the CDC report and professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health in Newark, is available to comment at [email protected]
Alvaro Toledo, assistant professor of entomology and microbiology at Rutgers-New Brunswick, is available to comment at [email protected]
James L. Occi, a co-author of the CDC report and doctoral student in the Department of Entomology/Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers–New Brunswick, is available to comment at [email protected]
Tanaya Bhowmick, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is available to comment at [email protected]
Diana Finkel, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, is available to comment at [email protected]
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