UMaine Extension releases 2021 Maine tick program data
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab 2021 Surveillance Program data is available on the Maine Tick Data webpage.
In 2020, the lab included testing for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and tularemia, in addition to tests for Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis, the three most common tick-borne diseases.
In 2021, the lab received nearly double the number of tick submissions than it did in 2020. According to Griffin Dill, UMaine Extension Tick Lab manager, “the increase was primarily driven by an unprecedented number of American dog tick submissions. Fortunately, dog ticks are not known to transmit pathogens here in Maine.”
Dill also noted that the infection rates for Lyme disease, Anaplasma and Babesia increased significantly compared to 2020, ranging from a 3% increase for Babesia to a nearly 6% increase for Lyme disease.
For 2022, the UMaine Extension Tick Lab will be adding another pathogen, Borrelia miyamotoi, to the testing panel for deer ticks and related tick species. While Borrelia miyamotoi is related to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, it causes a relapsing fever-like illness in humans.
More information on different tick species in Maine, tick management, tick-borne diseases and submitting tick specimens to the lab is available on the tick laboratory website, or by contacting 207.581.3880, 800.287.0279 (in Maine); tickID@maine.edu.