Presentation Abstract

Session: Poster Session B Presentations and Light Lunch
Abstract Number: 609
Title: Exposure of Outdoor Workers in NC to Tick Species and Tick-Borne Infections
Presentation Start: 11/13/2012 12:00:00 PM
Presentation End: 11/13/2012 1:45:00 PM
Authors: Meagan Vaughn1, Stephen Meshnick1, William N. Nicholson2, Sheana Funkhouser1, Loganathan Ponnusamy3, Jamie Perniciaro4, Charles Apperson5
1University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States, 2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States, 3North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States, 4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chapel Hill, NC, United States, 5N.C. State University, Raleigh, NC, United States
Abstract: Forestry, parks, and wildlife workers have prolonged outdoor exposure, increasing their risk of being bitten by ticks and infection by tick-borne microbes. In 2011, we initiated a two-year investigation of the protection from tick bites provided by permethrin-impregnated clothing. Outdoor workers enrolled in our cohort study self-reported ticks bites and collected attached ticks. The ticks were identified to species and tested for common bacterial pathogens. The lone star tick (Amblyommma americanum), was the predominant species collected, accounting for 95% of the 429 ticks submitted. Other species collected included the Gulf Coast (Amblyomma maculatum), American dog (Dermacentor variablis) and black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). Rickettsial organisms detected in ticks will be presented. Serologic tests of blood samples obtained at enrollment (n=127) revealed that many participants had pre-existing titers against spotted fever group rickettsiae. A minimum endpoint IFA titer of 1:128 was observed in 19% of participants against Rickettsia rickettsii, 23% against R. parkeri, and 11% against R. amblyommii. Fewer subjects had baseline titers against E. chaffeensis (4%). Comparison of titers from pre and post-season serum samples indicated that several participants seroconverted to spotted fever group rickettsiae and Ehrlichia chaffeensis during the course of the first year of follow-up.

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