Link between lizards and Lyme disease

Link between lizards and Lyme disease - nsf.gov National...

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NSF Web Site Press Release 11-032 Numbers of Lyme Disease-Carrying Ticks Plummet in Absence of Western Lizards California areas without lizards had significant drop in tick populations Western fence lizards ( Sceloporus occidentalis ) are found with dozens of ticks attached. Credit and Larger Version February 15, 2011 Areas in California where Western fence lizards were removed had a subsequent drop in numbers of the ticks that transmit Lyme disease, scientists have discovered. "Our expectation was that removing the lizards would increase the risk of Lyme disease, so we were surprised by this finding," said ecologist Andrea Swei, who conducted the study while she was a Ph.D. student in integrative biology at University of California, Berkeley. "We found that the result of lizard removal was a decrease in infected ticks, and therefore decreased Lyme disease risk to humans." Results of the study, published online today in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society B , illustrate the complex role the Western fence lizard ( Sceloporus occidentalis ) plays in the abundance of disease-spreading ticks. "This study demonstrates the complexity of infectious disease systems, and how the removal of one player--lizards--can affect disease risk," said Sam Scheiner, program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the research through a joint Ecology of Infectious Diseases (EID) Program with the National Institutes of Health. At NSF, the EID Program is supported by the Directorates for Biological Sciences
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Link between lizards and Lyme disease - nsf.gov National...

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