Nasty: Tick Spit Makes People Allergic to Meat

"I'm not vegan, but you are now!"
"I'm not vegan, but you are now!" Photo: Courtesy the Centers for Disease Control

A team of researchers at the University of Virginia has linked the bite of the lone star tick, a species that is terrifyingly common, to the sudden onset of severe meat allergies. Dr. Scott Commins and his research team started reporting on the coincidence of lone star tick bites and new, rapid-onset allergies to pork, beef, and lamb last year. The team believes the lone star tick’s saliva triggers a histamine reaction that makes people break out in hives a few hours after eating meat. So far there are 1,000 confirmed cases of tick-borne meat allergies, including the author John Grisham. (A food allergy site reported earlier this year that his Charottesville-area plantation is “tick central.”) So, how long until PETA gets their hands on some tick spit and weaponizes it once and for all? [ABC News, UVA Magazine]