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Infected Carolina Deer: Lyme Disease in the Carolinas

While Carolina deer might not have quite as much Lyme and ehrlichia as horribly infected Connecticut deer, it is clear that the Carolina's have plenty of Lyme and Ehrlichia in their state deer.

Any person that dreams that the deer and mice and other vectors of Lyme have any respect for state zoning is being silly and hurting the citizens of the state – allowing them to be unguarded. And this naive approach allows physicians to ignore the many patients getting infected with tick borne illnesses in the Carolinas.

My brother, in fact, was horribly infected with Lyme in some Carolina woods, and was not treated at all by a host of Carolina physicians, who had been led to believe the deer and ticks stopped at the Carolina border! At the time, I did not know of Dr. Joseph Jemsek, of Huntersville (North Carolina) who is an infectious disease genius. So my brother suffered horribly at the hands of poor routine North Carolina medical care. Thankfully, folks in the Carolinas with tick borne illness and are finding out the state expert for Lyme (and also HIV) is Dr. Joseph Jemsek. I recently heard him talk on a wide range of infectious disease topics and was stunned at his ability. The Carolinas are blessed to have someone in the top 1% of medical ability in their state. The Governor would be well served if Dr. Jemsek could be appointed to the state board. State Boards are increasingly not involved in controlling impaired physicians, but deciding what is good care. And most are very average physicians that end up trying to play pretend expert, and being used as pawns of the DEA's pro-pain ideology, insurance companies who do not want progressive care, or divorcing parents. In the new medicine of 2006, we need physicians on the Board who understand that clinical medicine is 20 years ahead of expensive and slow studies. Studies controlled by very slow NIH and CDC politics, and by the marketing and sales plans of drug companies.


Use of recombinant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum [Ehrlichia] in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to detect antibodies in white-tailed deer.

Serum samples obtained from white-tailed deer ... in Connecticut (n=218) and South Carolina (n=20) (USA) during the period 1992-2002 were analyzed for antibodies to whole-cell or recombinant antigens ... of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, etiologic agents of Lyme borreliosis and granulocytic ehrlichiosis, respectively. In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) with whole-cell B. burgdorferi, the overall seropositivity rate for Connecticut (53%) exceeded that for South Carolina (30%). In separate tests of seven recombinant antigens of B. burgdorferi by an ELISA, seroprevalence for the VlsE antigen was highest (48%) in Connecticut followed by outer surface protein (OspF) (21%), whereas serum reactivities to the protein (p) 41-G antigen (55%) and VlsE (25%) were most frequent for South Carolina sera. In analyses for antibodies to the recombinant protein (p) 44 antigen of A. phagocytophilum, seroprevalences of 52% and 25% were recorded for Connecticut and South Carolina samples, respectively. These findings paralleled those determined by indirect fluorescent antibody staining methods with whole cells (43% and 30%). Moreover, there was good agreement (74%) in results of Western blot analyses and an ELISA when a subset of 39 sera was screened with whole-cell or recombinant p44 antigens of A. phagocytophilum. An ELISA with highly specific recombinant VlsE or p44 antigens can be used in conjunction with other antibody tests to determine whether deer living in different regions of eastern United States were exposed to B. burgdorferi or A. phagocytophilum.

J Wildl Dis. 2004 Apr;40(2):249-58.

Magnarelli LA, IJdo JW, Ramakrishnan U, Henderson DW, Stafford KC 3rd, Fikrig E.

Department of Entomology and Forestry and Horticulture, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven, Connecticut 06504, USA.

PMID: 15362824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Bolding, edits, italics are all from Dr. Schaller and inserted

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