Sheep tick, SEM

Sheep tick, SEM

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Credit: JANNICKE WIIK-NIELSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus). This arachnid is the vector of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that causes Lyme disease. Ixodes ricinus is widely distributed in Europe and is typically found in wooded and grassy areas. Its mouthparts are adapted to pierce the host's skin and it may remain attached for several days whilst blood-feeding. The longer it stays attached, the more likely it will transmit the pathogen into the bloodstream. Lyme disease is a systemic inflammatory disease that may cause neurological and cardiac abnormalities, and recurrent arthritis. Magnification: x55 when printed at 10cm wide.

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