SAVE THE DATES!
KGA ANNUAL MEETING AND PROGRAM ON TICKS AND TICK-BORNE DISEASES WITH DR. ALVARO TOLEDO OF RUTGERS
Thursday, May 10, 2018, 7:30 PM
Kingston Firehouse, 8 Heathcote Road, Kingston
Ticks are the most important vectors for infectious diseases in the northern hemisphere, and second after mosquitoes worldwide. As a result, there is an increasing public health interest in tick-borne pathogens. Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of different vertebrate species. Typically, ticks have 4 stages (egg, larvae, nymph and adult) that feed on three different hosts in a two year life cycle. Importantly, ticks can transmit different diseases including Lyme disease, Human granulocytic anaplasmosis and Babesisis among others.
Lyme disease is by far the most prominent tick-borne disease in New Jersey with over 3000 cases per year. The causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burdorferi, is a spirochete and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Typically, Lyme disease patients have symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash known as erythema migrans. If the infection is not treated in the initial stages, it can disseminate and affect joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Laboratory testing is useful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease are treated successfully with a 3-4 weeks antibiotic therapy. Methods to prevent Lyme disease include the use of insect repellent, pesticides and removing ticks promptly.
Our speaker, Dr. Alvaro Toledo, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers. His primary focus is to establish a research program on Lyme disease, ticks and the vector-borne pathogens at the Center for Vector Biology.