Tick Bite Makes You Allergic To Meat


Photo credit: CDC Public Image Library. The Lone Star tick, and relatives in other countries, are creating allergies to meat
It’s like a zombie film in reverse; an outbreak of ticks is succeeding where environmental statistics, health warnings and pictures of cute animals have failed – turning hardened meat eaters vegetarian.

By Stephen LuntziflScience

Known as the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum), the tick caries a variety of diseases, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, although it is not a carrier of Lyme Disease, by far the best known tick-borne infection.

However, the tick’s most interesting feature is the capacity to make people allergic to meat. The ticks carry alpha-gal (Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose), which may sound like a superhero, but is actually a type of sugar found in non-primate mammals.

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