Canine test results help track continued expansion of Lyme diseaseThe study was motivated by the rise in Lyme disease cases in the U.S. and, in particular, rising incidence in states not traditionally considered Lyme-endemic. Results suggest that:
- Canine prevalence rates for Lyme disease is rising
- Lyme prevalence rates are increasing most in areas where the pathogen has recently encroached.
- Lyme prevalence in dogs is rising in states traditionally not considered to be of high Lyme risk, suggesting that human risk may also be increasing in these areas, including regions in Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee.
- Significant increases in canine Lyme prevalence are also seen in some areas that have not yet reported significant human incidence. Given the proximity of these locations to recognized high-incidence areas, it is reasonable to infer that canine prevalence is more sensitive to changes in Lyme risk and could serve as an early warning system for changes in human risk.
Research results: Pinpointing increasing regional risk for Lyme disease
- The regional rate of Lyme prevalence change between January 2012 and December 2016 is positive in all states that are currently recognized as having high human Lyme disease incidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), comprising portions of the Northeast and the Upper Midwest, including Maine, West Virginia and Virginia, and the northern parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
- Increasing local trends extend southwards through West Virginia and Virginia, and into North Carolina and Tennessee. This region includes localities where Lyme disease is reportedly increasing. Increasing local trends in parts of northwestern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and southeastern Iowa are also apparent.
- In the Great Lakes region, increasing trends are observed in Eastern Ohio, Indiana, and Western Michigan.