Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Lyme disease risks in New Brunswick growing, researchers warn

A team at Mount Allison University led by biologist Vett Lloyd says preliminary findings indicate the habitat for ticks carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is expanding northward as the climate moderates.

THINKSTOCK

Researchers conducting an ongoing study on the prevalence of tick-borne illnesses including Lyme disease in New Brunswick say there is a growing risk for both dogs and humans.

A team at Mount Allison University led by biologist Vett Lloyd says preliminary findings indicate the habitat for ticks carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is expanding northward as the climate moderates.

The researchers began testing for Lyme diseases in dogs through blood tests in 2013 as a starting point for monitoring infection risks to New Brunswick communities.

Story continues below advertisement

They say previous studies have found that for every six infected dogs, there is one human that is also infected.

The lab collected about 300 blood samples from dogs in seven health districts across the province in the fall 2013 and spring 2014 tick seasons.

Results showed infection rates had risen to 7 per cent in the fall of 2013, when three years ago, fewer than 1 per cent of New Brunswick dogs were infected.

The highest rates of infection were in the Moncton area at 17 per cent, followed by the Saint John region with a rate of 10 per cent.

The study also found Lyme seropositive dogs as far north as the Edmundston area.

Lloyd's research team will continue to examine ticks this summer and says it plans to test up to 400 dogs at various veterinary clinics.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.