A collection of peer reviewed research

Duration of tick feeding affects risk for transmission

TickEncounter frequently hears many varying statements about the time it takes a tick to transmit a tickborne infection after biting a host. We and others have conducted several carefully controlled experiments — all with similar outcomes — to evaluate the concept of pathogen transmission delays in blacklegged ticks. We stand behind the statement that it generally takes longer than 24 hrs of attachment before blacklegged ticks can transmit an infectious dose of the Lyme disease and human babesiosis agents. We realize that people — even other scientists — sometimes have different experiences or they interpret experimental data differently. It is our goal to help translate science into information that can be used — in this case to best prevent tickborne disease. To this end, below we’re providing access to the existing peer-reviewed published research on this topic (PDF downloads available below). We keep an open mind to reviewing empirical evidence and we welcome readers to send other peer-reviewed literature on this topic to TickEncounter for consideration and possible listing on this page.