Deborah Hudman, MS, senior research associate in A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Microbiology & Immunology department, recently learned her joint project with the Missouri Department of Conservation has been awarded grant funding.
The project goal is to create a Missouri map of tick species distributions and their human pathogens distribution.
“There is a pressing need to increase tick surveillance in Missouri,” Hudman said. “The state has a diverse and abundant tick community that is poorly understood, and new human pathogens transmitted by ticks are being discovered. There are many tick-borne human pathogens in Missouri and yet there is no comprehensive map of tick species or of the human pathogens those ticks are carrying.”
Hudman said the data could inform predictive models of tick-borne disease spread and help determine if invasive tick species are present in the state.
The grant will provide $25,000 in this fiscal year. The project is also likely to receive another $25,000 next year.
Learn more about Hudman’s research in this article from Spark magazine.