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Researchers Identify Birds Hosting Lyme Disease


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Researchers have discovered several bird species that host ticks carrying Lyme disease bacteria in northwestern California as well as another pathogen that causes chronic illness in humans. “The role of birds in the maintenance of Lyme disease bacteria in California is poorly understood,” said Erica Newman in a release. Newman is a UC Berkeley Ph.D. student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley and lead author of a recently released study that “did a molecular study of bird blood, ticks present on the birds, and the associated species of bacteria that they were hosting.” “This is the most extensive study of the role of birds in Lyme disease ecology in the western United States, and the first to consider the diversity of bird species, their behaviors and their habitats in identifying which birds are truly the most important as carriers.” UC Berkeley researcher Erica Newman, pictured in front of chaparral, where she studies bird communities. Chaparral biodiversity, including bird communities, is largely understudied because of the difficulty of detecting wildlife in dense shrub habitats.Image Credit: David Hembry Using mist netting, Newman and others in the team trapped over 623 birds from 53 different species from [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/researchers-identify-birds-hosting-lyme-disease/

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