Penguins Living With Lyme Disease


Classic Bulls-eye Rash Indicates Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium that can be transmitted by tick species in the genus, Ixodes. There are dozens of Ixodes species specializing on a wide variety of sometimes overlapping hosts. Ixodes uriae is a tick parasite of many sea birds and travels the globe as the sea birds migrate. Ixodes uriae can be found on king penguins in the southern Indian ocean and is likely responsible for transmitting the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi to the penguins.

Frédéric Schramm, Michel Gauthier-Clerc, Jean-Charles Fournier, Karen D. McCoy, Cathy Barthel, Danièle Postic, Yves Handrich, Yvon Le Maho, Benoît Jaulhac. First detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA in king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus hall). Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, Volume 5, Issue 6, October 2014, Pages 939-942.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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2 Responses to Penguins Living With Lyme Disease

  1. Pingback: Penguins Living With Lyme Disease – Entomo Planet

  2. I had no idea this was a disease affecting penguins!

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