Treated Clothes Protect Humans from Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease

Permethrin-treated clothing shows promise in repelling ticks carrying lyme disease
hiker in the woods

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study shows that clothes treated with an insecticide were able to reduce ticks with Lyme disease ability to bite humans.

Only 58 percent of ticks on the permethrin-treated fabric remained in contact with the textile after 1 minute, reports this CDC study

Using clothes to protect humans from Lyme disease is important, since there is not an approved vaccine available, yet.

Ticks, such as the deer tick, the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) are the primary vectors of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis in the eastern United States.

If you camp, hike, work or play in wooded or grassy places, you could be bitten by an infected tick.

The CDC recommends treating clothes, boots, pants, socks, and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. 

Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are the most common vector-borne diseases in the USA.

As of the end of 2017, 19 different bacterial, protozoan, and viral agents have been implicated in TBDs.

Moreover, Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease accounts for an estimated 300,000 annual cases of TBDs.

“The true incidence of TBDs is likely greatly underestimated, as patients with presumed TBDs are rarely tested for the full range of tick-borne agents, and only a fraction of positive cases are properly reported,” said Nischay Mishra, Ph.D.

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The findings and conclusions of this study are by the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.