By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Deer ticks saliva allows it to feed undetected for days
Lyme disease support group meeting is April 29
deer tick adult
Thousands of compounds in the deer ticks saliva allow it to feed undetected for many days. - photo by Scott Bauer photo/USDA

The public is invited to attend the April meeting of the Lyme disease support group for residents of Juneau, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties from 6:30-8 p.m. April 29 at the Hillsboro Public Library meeting room, 819 High Ave.

Little things matter: Consider the deer tick’s saliva. Tick saliva is made up of thousands of compounds. These compounds allow the tick to be a far more stealthy feeder than a mosquito, which has only hundreds of compounds. This tiny truth is more than just trivia. It is one of many small details resulting from Purdue University’s sequencing of the deer tick genome as publicized this late winter.

Recent estimates are that 30% to 50% of deer ticks are infected with one to six or more infectious agents. These disease makers pass through the entry wound the tick punches into its host’s skin. Deer tick saliva is full of antimicrobials, pain inhibitors, cement, anticoagulants and immune suppressors which allow the tick to feed undetected for many days, while continuously regurgitating infected saliva into the wound to extend its blood feast.

Such minutiae of what a tick is and how a tick works are important to other researchers who seek ways to slow or stop the ever increasing spread of devastating and deadly tick borne diseases in communities like ours.

The public is invited to attend Lyme disease support group meetings. The group’s goal is to grow together in understanding, thus both encouraging and being encouraged by one another. Many free informational materials are available.

The coordinator can be reached by e-mail at , telephone 608-489-2725 (ask for Gary), or surface mail: Gary Cepek, S1468 Cepek Rd., Elroy, WI 53929.