Video Three members of Congress joined forces with a Lyme disease advocacy group to host a forum to discuss the fight against tick-borne diseases. As a panelist, Cary's Rick Ostfeld shared his research and insights.
Different species of tick hosts tend to have different probabilities of transmitting an infection to a feeding tick. In eastern and central North America, the host most likely to transmit an infection to a feeding tick is the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), which infects between 40% and 90% of feeding larvae.
Population stressors such as habitat loss, weather events, and disease are most often investigated independently but populations exist in a complex reality and most species declines can be attributed to a network of associated causes.
Biodiversity can protect human health by reducing the probability of human exposure to disease agents transmitted from wildlife. Human-induced environmental changes, such as habitat fragmentation, can inadvertently increase disease risk by reducing both predators and biodiversity.