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Many California bird species host Lyme disease bacteria, study finds
Many California bird species host Lyme disease bacteria, study finds

Ticks carrying the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease are infesting Northern California’s birds and may be hitching rides on them into suburban settings, according to a new UC Berkeley study. The tick-borne spirochete scientists know as Borrelia burgdorferi is found in a wide variety of mammals in California including wood rats, gray squirrels and deer. Although Lyme disease cases are relatively rare in California, DNA sequencing showed B. burgdorferi’s presence in 23 of 53 species of birds tested in Mendocino County. The disease-causing bacteria were detected in blood samples taken from species including the American robin, lark sparrow, dark-eyed junco, lesser goldfinch...

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