Lyme disease is an infection caused by strains of the bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi
(Bb). This bacteria is typically transmitted to humans through an infected
The tick that carries and transmits Lyme disease is too small to notice,
about the size of a sesame seed or a period at the end of a sentence.
The tick’s saliva has an anesthetic-like substance which numbs your
skin, so you may not feel the bite penetrating it.
The Blacklegged Tick
The blacklegged tick is responsible for spreading Lyme disease throughout
the United States. There are two types of blacklegged ticks: the Western
blacklegged tick and the Eastern blacklegged tick.
Coincidentally, the Western tick is found on the west coast, while the
Eastern tick is found on the east coast. A tick can live for many years
on just a handful of blood meals.
The tick feed on various animals, or hosts, during its larval, nymph, and
adult stages. It typically becomes infected during the larval and nymph
stage, when it feeds off small animals such as squirrels, birds, and mice
that carry Bb, as well as other bacteria. Once the tick becomes infected,
it then passes on the bacteria to a human or another animal during its
next feeding cycle.
Common types of animals that carry Bb include:
- The gray squirrel (commonly found in California and west coast)
- The white-footed mouse (commonly found on the east coast)
- Various birds
- The white-tailed deer
- The western fence lizard (however, the Bb bacteria is destroyed once it’s
inside the lizard)
For more information,
contact the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine and speak with our medical team dedicated to the reversal of the chronic illness.