Meat-Allergy-Causing Ticks Are Back at It Again

Photo: Courtesy the Centers for Disease Control

Remember that tick species in the South that was all like, “Hey, look, I’m not a vegetarian, but if I bite my spit will make you allergic to meat”? It turns out that cases of tick bites with the allergy-inducing saliva may be on the rise. A paper presented at a conference earlier this month indicates that new allergies are being reported outside of tick-heavy areas. UVA’s Thomas Platts-Mills has been researching Lone Star ticks for ten years and says no one knows why the spit has the ability to make carnivores break out in hives. “Tick saliva is brilliant stuff,” he says, “it has loads of substances — but if you ask me which substances are critical, I don’t know. It’s something we are working on.” [The Salt/NPR, Earlier]