Do mosquitoes transmit Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is usually transmitted by ticks. But mosquitoes can also transmit the pathogen. This can mean redness after a mosquito bite.

The combination of heavy rain, stagnant water and muggy summer days is a haven for mosquitoes. The insects often spoil people’s relaxing days by the lake, barbecues in the garden or walks in the forest. The annoying mosquito bites  not only itch  , they can also become inflamed. Can there even be a  risk of Lyme disease  ?

Mosquitoes as carriers of Lyme disease?

Mosquitoes are already known to be carriers of various diseases – especially in tropical countries, insect bites pose a risk of infection with various pathogens. Possible diseases transmitted by the bloodsuckers are, for example:

However, mosquitoes could also transmit Lyme disease, which is otherwise associated with ticks. In 2016, researchers analyzed various mosquito species at 42 locations. Ten species from four genera carried the bacteria (Borrelia). Overall, depending on the species, 0.13 to 8.33 percent of the mosquitoes were carriers of the pathogen. The risk of Lyme disease from mosquitoes could increase as a result of climate change and the resulting improved living conditions for insects.

At the same time, however, the researchers gave the all-clear: even if transmission is theoretically possible, in practice mosquitoes only play a very small role as carriers of Lyme disease. The tick is still the most important carrier of Lyme disease. According to the current state of knowledge, there is only a very small risk of becoming infected with Lyme disease through a mosquito bite.

Incidentally, Lyme disease pathogens have also been found occasionally in other insects, such as horseflies, fleas or blackflies. However, even with these insects, Borrelia is only transmitted in exceptional cases.

recognize Lyme disease

Lyme disease is usually noticeable through the following signs:

  • Redness  around the sting:  In many cases (but not all) a red ring at least two inches in diameter forms around the sting and expands in a circular fashion. The blush appears pale in the middle, so that the sting in the center is often still clearly visible.
  • Flu-like symptoms:  These include a severe headache, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
  • Neurological symptoms:  This includes symptoms such as neck stiffness, nerve pain, or facial paralysis.

Not all symptoms are always present. If such problems arise, medical advice should be sought. Lyme disease can be detected in the blood, and  antibiotics usually provide  relief.

Late effects of Lyme disease can include joint pain, bluish discoloration of the skin and nerve damage, which usually occurs in the form of inflammation.

Redness after a mosquito bite?

Since it is very unlikely that Lyme disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, alternative explanations should also be considered if erythema is suspected after a mosquito bite.

A tick bite  may be a possible  trigger of the migratory blush. Oftentimes, these insect bites go unnoticed because they cause no pain or itching. If the tick falls off by itself before you notice it, a reddening of the skin can develop after a few days or weeks for no apparent reason.

An  inflamed mosquito bite  can also be mistaken for a migraine. If bacteria penetrate the bite site – brought in either by the mosquito itself or by later scratching – an infection can occur. If the affected area swells over a large area, appears red or even heated, these can be signs of inflammation.

If the pathogens get into the blood or lymphatic system, the inflammation can also spread to the lymphatic vessels or, in the worst case, even lead to  sepsis  (blood poisoning). In addition, a mosquito bite can trigger a so-called  erysipelas  (erysipelas or erysipelas). This is an acute infection of the upper layers of the skin by introduced bacteria. It manifests itself as a sharply defined, jagged and shiny redness that spreads more and more. Symptoms also include pain or itching, fever and a general feeling of illness.

In any case, you should have the relevant symptoms after a mosquito bite clarified by a doctor.


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