Alec Oliva, a graduate student at Midwestern University – Glendale campus, presented research examining the spread of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) at the 2019 Arizona Physiological Society conference this past weekend. With a mortality rate as much as 80% without treatment, the spread of this disease is quite concerning.
Ticks are vectors for the Rickettsia rickettsii bacteria responsible for causing RMSF. Dogs are notoriously at risk for acquiring tick infestations and thus may help spread the disease. The hope is to be able to develop a strategy to predict as well as prevent outbreaks of RMSF.
A Oliva, A Finley, C Maag, S Madsen, C Schaefer, J Hernandez, R Kreisler, J Lee, M Quinlan, J VandenBrooks. Canine-based risk factors drive the spread of RMSF in Arizona and New Mexico.