The Lone Star Tick

The Lone Star Tick

In the U.S., Lone Star Ticks (Amblyomma americanum) are the primary source of sensitization to alpha-gal. Further research may connect additional tick species and possibly other ectoparasites with the onset of AGS.

Where Do Lone Star Ticks Live?

  • Lone Star Ticks occur throughout the southern and eastern United States and in the Midwest.
  • They are most numerous in the Southeast.
  • Due to climate change, habitat disruption, and growing deer populations, the density of Lone Star Tick populations is increasing and their range is expanding, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. (1, 2,34).

What Are Lone Star Ticks Like?

  • Lone Star Ticks are very aggressive.
  • Unlike some other ticks, which ambush their prey, Lone Star Ticks are active hunters.
  • Lone Star Ticks move faster than some other species of ticks.
  • If you stand or sit near Lone Star Ticks, they will detect your presence and move quickly towards you.

Besides AGS, What Other Illnesses Can Lone Star Ticks Cause?

  • According to the CDC, Lone Star Ticks transmit viruses and organisms which can cause:
  • Human ehrlichiosis
  • Tularemia
  • Heartland virus disease
  • Bourbon virus disease
  • Possibly other tick-borne illnesses
  • Lone Star Ticks are also associated with Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).

Tick Encounter Resource Center

For more information about Lone Star Ticks and ticks in general, the TERC website is a great resource.

Lone Star Tick PDF

References

1. Molaei, G. et al. “Bracing for the Worst — Range Expansion of the Lone Star Tick in the Northeastern United States.” (2019). N Engl J Med; 381:2189-2192

2. Monzón, J. D., et al. (2016). “Population and Evolutionary Genomics of Amblyomma americanum, an Expanding Arthropod Disease Vector.” Genome Biology and Evolution 8(5): 1351-1360.

3. Raghavan RK, et al. Peterson AT, Cobos ME, Ganta R, Foley D (2019).  Current and Future Distribution of the Lone Star Tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae) in North America. PLOS ONE 14(1): e0209082.