People who live or travel in the south and who develop a red, expanding rash with central clearing after the bite of a lone star tick should see a doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is interested in obtaining samples from such patients under an Institutional Review Board-approved investigational protocol. In 2001 one patient with evidence of B. lonestari infection was reported in the medical literature. This patient had been exposed to ticks in Maryland and North Carolina and had developed a typical Lyme disease rash. DNA analysis indicated the presence of B. lonestari in a skin biopsy taken at the leading edge of the rash and in the tick removed by the doctor. Testing for Lyme disease was negative. The patient was treated with an oral antibiotic and recovered.

Lone star ticks can be found from central Texas and Oklahoma eastward across the southern

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