The first established population of the Asian Longhorned tick, an invasive pathogen vector, was found in New Haven County, Connecticut.
New Haven, CT – The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) is reporting the first established population of the Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, in New Haven County. The Asian longhorned tick is an invasive pathogen vector and ectoparasite that was initially discovered in Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 2017, and has subsequently been found in at least 15 other states, including in Fairfield County, Connecticut in 2020, raising public and veterinary health concerns.
The Asian longhorned tick is native to eastern Asia and invasive to Australia, New Zealand, and several Pacific Islands, prefers warm and moist conditions. It feeds upon a wide variety of vertebrate hosts and may be a significant threat to wild and domestic animals, particularly livestock. Human biting by this tick has been documented in the infested states, including at least four instances in Connecticut. Dogs, a frequently identified host in the U.S., may be particularly at risk for canine babesiosis caused by Babesia gibsoni, an emergent pathogen transmitted by this tick species. The Asian longhorned tick is a vector for the viral agent of severe fever with thrombocytopenia in humans, among other pathogens. Furthermore, the detection of the more pathogenic Theileria orientalis Ikeda genotype in cattle and in ticks in Virginia, for which the longhorned tick is a known vector, suggests additional risks to humans and livestock with the introduction and establishment of this tick species.
Read more at Global Lyme Alliance