Years when the deer population is robust during the autumn hunting season may point toward an elevated risk of Lyme disease (LD) in the human population two summers later. We applied overdispersed Poisson regression models to county-specific data from New Jersey for each year from 2000 to 2014. The average relative risk of LD for each additional hunter-killed deer per square mile was 1.12 (1.10, 1.14) for 2000–2007 and 1.11 (1.09, 1.13) for 2008–2014. The hunting data already collected for conservation and wildlife management purposes may be a relevant component of LD surveillance activities.
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Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare for this unfunded project.
Daniel L. Robertson and Leah M. Babin are co-first authors.
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Robertson, D.L., Babin, L.M., Krall, J.R. et al. The Association Between Hunter-Killed Deer and Lyme Disease in New Jersey, 2000–2014. EcoHealth 16, 330–337 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-019-01401-x