OTTAWA – Researchers have found that tick populations are more prevalent than they had thought in the Ottawa area and in some places, one in three carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
This is the result of an ongoing study by Manisha Kulkarni and Roman Kryuchkov, researchers at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, who are conducting research on ticks and Lyme disease in the federal capital.
The team is monitoring 23 sites across the city, including nine municipal parks, seven conservation areas and forests, six recreational trails and a provincial park, the university’s media relations office said on Friday. the main data collected by the team of researchers in 2017.
Thus, during expert visits, blacklegged ticks – those that transmit Lyme disease – were identified in 16 of the 23 sites, a rate of 70%. Of the 194 adult blacklegged ticks and 26 blacklegged blacklegged ticks tested, nearly 30% were infected with B. burgdorferi, which can cause Lyme disease.
Researchers also found that “the density of tick populations on recreational trails, conservation areas / forests and the provincial park within the City of Ottawa was significantly higher than that in municipal parks” . No ticks were found in urban parks, it was said.
“Our study shows that tick populations are more prevalent than previously thought in the Ottawa region,” said Dr. Kulkarni, commenting on these results. In addition, ticks are starting to appear in some areas of the city faster than we expected. “
The researcher says she is “hopeful that active surveillance of ticks at the local level can help guide risk assessment and public health measures,” the university said.
From 2013 to 2017, the number of human Lyme disease cases reported to public health authorities increased from 49 to 186 in the Ottawa region, according to Ottawa Public Health.