New Haven, Conn. — Yale School of Public Health researchers in collaboration with Russian scientists have discovered a new tick-borne bacterium that might be causing disease in the United States and elsewhere. Their findings appear in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
This new disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia miyamotoi, which is distantly related to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Yale professor of epidemiology Durland Fish and colleagues found this new spirochete, previously known only from ticks in Japan, in deer ticks in Connecticut in 2001, but did not know if it caused disease in humans.
The bacteria have since been found in all tick species that transmit Lyme disease throughout the United States and Europe.