Male (right) and female (left) Lyme disease ticks (Ixodes ricinus), light micrograph (LM). This tick is the principal vector of Lyme disease in Europe. At top are the heads of the ticks with their barbed blood-sucking mouthparts. The tick is common in Europe and attacks humans, domestic and wild animals. Ixodes ricinus carries the spirochaete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, cause of both Lyme disease and a closely-related disease known as erythema migrans. Both diseases cause skin lesions, neurological and cardiac abnormalities and recurrent arthritis. Magnification: x8 when printed at 10cm wide.
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