Transmission patterns of tick-borne pathogens among birds and rodents in a forested park in southeastern Canada

Between 2016 and 2018, Quebec researchers collected close to 30,000 blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), roughly 850 birds of 50 different species, more than 650 white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), a dozen Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), an equal number of northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda), and one Red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) from the lush forests of Mont Saint-Bruno National Park (located roughly 30KM east of Montreal) and found that while white-footed mice were most likely responsible for passing on Lyme disease bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) to the greatest number of blacklegged tick nymphs, birds were likely responsible for infecting one-fifth of blacklegged tick nymphs. These researchers also detected the human pathogens Borrelia miyamotoi, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in the park.