The lone star tick. Photo by Katja Schulz
The bite from a lone star tick may give humans an allergy to meat. It seems that their saliva causes antibodies for meat to rise after a bite, releasing histamines when meat is consumed, giving people hives, making them throw up, and even throwing them into anaphylactic shock. Essentially, what happens to me when I eat peanuts, which I avoid like the plague. So the effect here is that some people become vegetarian.
A bite from the lone star tick, so-called for the white spot on its back, looks innocent enough. But researchers say saliva that sneaks into the wound might trigger a reaction to meat agonizing enough to convert lifelong carnivores into wary vegetarians.
“People will eat beef and then anywhere from three to six hours later start having a reaction; anything from hives to full-blown anaphylactic shock,” said Dr. Scott Commins, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. “Most people want to avoid having the reaction, so they try to stay away from the food that triggers it.” (ABC News)
Weird. I honestly don’t even read science fiction anymore. The news is enough.