Never-Before-Seen Tick-Borne Disease Could Pose ‘Substantial Human Health Threat,’ Scientists Warn


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Tickborne illnesses such as Lyme disease, Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be serious and sometimes deadly, presenting a major public health problem around the world. Now, a new study reports the discovery in northern China of a never-before-seen tick-borne illness that scientists warn could pose a “substantial human health threat” in many parts of the world.

The new discovery, reported in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, is the work of a team of researchers from China and the US. They named the newly discovered pathogen — a bacterium — Anaplasma capra, after the fact it appears to be common in goats. “Capra” is the Latin word for “goat.”

The bacterium is related to other Anaplasma bacteria, some of which can also cause illness when transmitted from ticks to humans. The researchers note they are not sure how widespread A. capra and the tick that carries it…

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