At a time when tick bites are becoming increasingly more common as a result of the nice weather, one particular type of tick has been spreading a great deal of fear and panic: the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). This species of tick originates from the eastern part of the USA and its bite is particularly worrying.
The fear or ticks is rising and rightly so. These small animals can have terrible consequences for humans because they carry Lyme disease. But redness and skin inflammation are just the beginning because other problems can then arise such as paralysis and even more worrying still, problems with our brains.
Strange allergy after being bitten by a tick
But apparently there is one type of tick that is even capable of reprogramming a human’s immune system. This phenomenon had long been considered a myth, until more and more people, particularly in the southwest, started suffering from swelling and shortness of breath after being bitten by this particular tick.
However, these allergic reactions were only occurring after the sufferer had eaten meat. These symptoms usually appeared after a considerable delay, most notably when the meat was being processed in the digestive tract. Research and studies have since proven something rather unusual: these bites can trigger a meat allergy.
These ticks can reprogram a human’s immune system
The reason behind this allergic reaction after eating meat is due to an antibody that humans produce in response to the tick bite. This antibody reacts to a specific sugar molecule (alpha-gal), which is most commonly found in red meat.
This allergic reaction can even prove to be life-threatening in some cases. However, curiously, those affected are still able to tolerate and process fish. It is still unclear as to whether this meat allergy is permanent or would, in fact, weaken and wane over time. Until we know for sure, some of the more big-time meat-eaters should think about familiarising themselves with some vegetarian recipes and tips.