Items in AFP with MESH term: Ticks

When to Suspect and How to Monitor Babesiosis - Article

ABSTRACT: In the past decade, cases of babesiosis in humans have been reported with increasing frequency, especially in the northeastern United States. Babesia microti (in the United States) and bovine strains (in Europe) cause most infections in humans. Most cases are tick-borne, although cases of transfusion-associated and transplacental/perinatal transmission have also been reported. Factors associated with more severe disease include advanced age, previous splenectomy and immunodeficient states. Symptoms include high fever, chills, diaphoresis, weakness, anorexia and headache. Later in the course of the illness, the patient may develop jaundice. Congestive heart failure, renal failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome are the most common complications. Therapy using the combination of quinine sulfate and clindamycin was the most commonly used treatment; however, atovaquone suspension plus azithromycin was recently reported an equally effective and less toxic therapy. Exchange transfusion, together with antibabesial chemotherapy, may be necessary in critically ill patients.


Tick Removal - Article

ABSTRACT: Many methods of tick removal that have been reported in the literature have proved to be unsatisfactory in controlled studies. Some methods may even cause harm by inducing the tick to salivate and regurgitate into the host. Ticks are best removed as soon as possible, because the risk of disease transmission increases significantly after 24 hours of attachment. The use of a blunt, medium-tipped, angled forceps offers the best results. Following tick removal, the bite area should be inspected carefully for any retained mouthparts, which should be excised. The area is then cleaned with antiseptic solution, and the patient is instructed to monitor for signs of local or systemic illness. Routine antibiotic prophylaxis following tick removal generally is not indicated but may be considered in pregnant patients or in areas endemic to tick-borne disease.


Tick-Borne Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Tick-borne diseases in the United States include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, babesiosis, Colorado tick fever, and relapsing fever. It is important for family physicians to consider these illnesses when patients present with influenza-like symptoms. A petechial rash initially affecting the palms and soles of the feet is associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, whereas erythema migrans (annular macule with central clearing) is associated with Lyme disease. Various other rashes or skin lesions accompanied by fever and influenza-like illness also may signal the presence of a tick-borne disease. Early, accurate diagnosis allows treatment that may help prevent significant morbidity and possible mortality. Because 24 to 48 hours of attachment to the host are required for infection to occur, early removal can help prevent disease. Treatment with doxycycline or tetracycline is indicated for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and relapsing fever. In patients with clinical findings suggestive of tick-borne disease, treatment should not be delayed for laboratory confirmation. If no symptoms follow exposure to tick bites, empiric treatment is not indicated. The same tick may harbor different infectious pathogens and transmit several with one bite. Advising patients about prevention of tick bites, especially in the summer months, may help prevent exposure to dangerous vector-borne diseases.



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