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A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? #7574964
05/02/22 11:06 AM
05/02/22 11:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 3,783
NY
Canvasback2 Offline OP
trapper
Canvasback2  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 3,783
NY
Our recent warm weather has reawakened ticks, and one tick, in particular, is becoming more common in the Washington D.C. area: the lone star tick. One bite from this tick, which is easily identified by the white spot on its back if it's female, can make people have adverse reactions to eating red meat for life.

The lone star tick originated in the southern states but has spread north and west to cover much of the eastern half of the U.S. With a warming climate, more ticks survive the winter months, and their range is expanding.

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Unlike the black-legged (deer) tick, the lone star tick doesn't transmit Lyme disease, but it can produce a severe food allergy in people called alpha-gal syndrome, which is an allergy to red meat.

When lone star ticks feed on mammals, such as mice, rabbits, or deer, they ingest alpha-gal sugars. Later, if the ticks bite and feed on humans, they inject the alpha-gal sugars with their saliva into their human host.

Primates don't have alpha-gal in their bodies. Therefore, the human immune system recognizes alpha-gal from a tick bite as a foreign substance and mounts a response, including the development of antibodies. Often, the tick bite site becomes swollen and itchy.

However, after the lone star tick bite, if red meat is eaten, which also contains alpha-gal sugars, the immune system recognizes the alpha-gal from the meat as a foreign substance. As a result, it mounts another response, often much more severe than the initial response to the tick bite.

The alpha-gal allergy to red meat can lead to a rash, hives, itching, swelling, shortness of breath, headaches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. With severe cases, a person may suffer anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

Initially, alpha-gal syndrome was hard to diagnose because the allergic reaction occurs many hours after eating meat. In addition, the allergy to red meat lasts a lifetime and can become worse with time.

Keith Tremel from Edgewater, Md., is a competitive barbecue cook who can't eat or taste his smoked beef and pork dishes. He needs to wear rubber gloves when handling red meat, or he'll break out in a rash. He contracted alpha-gal syndrome after a lone star tick bite five years ago and is highly allergic to most of the meat he cooks.

Tremel remembers the tick bite that gave him alpha-gal syndrome: "I was bitten on the thigh by a tick while I was sleeping. It woke me up. I pulled the tick off and immediately saw the white dot. I had recently read an article about alpha-gal and lone star ticks, so I instantly recognized it. I wouldn't say the bite was painful, but it did wake me up."

Soon after the tick bite, Tremel ate a hamburger which produced a rash over most of his body. A week later, another hamburger made the same rash. Later, a third hamburger had a similar outcome, and Tremel went to see a doctor, fearing alpha-gal syndrome.

Tremel's doctor had never heard of alpha-gal and looked it up on his laptop while Tremel waited. Later, the diagnosis was alpha-gal syndrome. "It was not comforting when I realized I knew more about alpha-gal than a medical professional," said Tremel in an email.

"Before my diagnosis, I loved bacon cheeseburgers. My wife and two kids both like bacon, and my son enjoys steak, so cooking that for them can be a little bit of torture. As for barbecue competitions and catering, I'm used to it now, but in the beginning, it was frustrating."

Tremel and his teammates compete in the Kansas City Barbeque Society, cooking chicken, ribs, pork and brisket at each contest. Chicken, he said, is the only meat he can sample. For the rest of the dishes, he relies on his "teammates' taste buds to make any last-minute changes to our turn-ins, like does it need more spice, less spice, is it salty, too sweet, etc.?"

After Tremel's alpha-gal diagnosis, his favorite foods have changed to chicken tacos and pizza. "So far, dairy has not affected me, so cheese is still okay."

William Gimpel, retired entomologist from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, was bitten by a while ago by a tick in the Northern Neck of Virginia. But he wasn't officially diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome until six years ago.

Gimpel's allergic reaction to red meat was severe. Gimpel said in an email, "I developed hives, fainted, my blood pressure dropped, and I told my wife on the way to the ER that I could not see. That has been my most serious reaction."

Initially, Gimpel was told he was allergic to beef. So, he dined on pork, lamb, and venison for several years. Then he had an allergic reaction to pork, and three months later reacted poorly to lamb. Finally, he found an allergist who correctly diagnosed his condition as alpha-gal syndrome.

Gimpel remains optimistic about his alpha-gal allergy. He wrote, "The best news is I eat all of the non-red meats, including chicken, turkey, fish, crabs, and other shellfish!"

Not all lone star tick bites produce alpha-gal syndrome. I was bitten by one earlier this month in the D.C. area, but have not developed the allergy to red meat yet. In fact, I have been bitten by over a dozen lone star ticks.

The increase in ticks can be attributed to warmer temperatures across the seasons. Michael Raupp, entomology professor at the University of Maryland, said warmer temperatures in the winter allow more ticks to survive the usually harsh season. Mild weather in the fall, winter and spring also allows them to actively seek hosts for longer periods of time, which increases their chances of survival. Lastly, Raupp said a boost in animals the ticks feed on, such as white-tailed deer, also help boost tick populations.

In addition to alpha-gal, the lone star ticks transmit diseases, including Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI), which produces a rash, fever, fatigue, and pain in muscles and joints. Another disease spread by the lone star tick is ehrlichiosis, which has flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle ache, fever, and fatigue.

The female lone star tick has a white spot on its back, but the male does not, making it harder to identify. However, the lone star tick has a different shape than the dog tick and is much larger than the deer tick.

If you do contract alpha-gal syndrome though, some are opting for genetically modified meat. Recently, pigs have been genetically modified to remove alpha-gal sugars so their organs can be transplanted in humans with a lower chance of rejection. The leftover meat can be used as food for people with alpha-gal syndrome.

One company named Revivicor has been mailing packages of their alpha-gal-free pork to people with alpha-gal syndrome. And so far, it appears the meat from the alpha-gal-free pigs can be eaten without an allergic reaction.

In December 2020, the FDA approved the genomic alteration of pigs for human food and cosmetics, so there may be a future for selling alpha-gal-free meat to people with alpha-gal syndrome.

Perhaps one day, Tremel can barbecue pork ribs for competition and give it a taste test himself, without help from others. And then eat the leftovers.

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7574966
05/02/22 11:07 AM
05/02/22 11:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 3,783
NY
Canvasback2 Offline OP
trapper
Canvasback2  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 3,783
NY
Texans: Tell me this is NOT TRUE !!

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7574974
05/02/22 11:11 AM
05/02/22 11:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 51,475
Minnesota
330-Trapper Offline
trapper
330-Trapper  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 51,475
Minnesota
Bioenginered by Anti's most likely


NRA and NTA Life Member
www.BackroadsRevised@etsy.com




Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7574975
05/02/22 11:11 AM
05/02/22 11:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 132
indiana
M
mink44 Offline
trapper
mink44  Offline
trapper
M

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 132
indiana
Worked with a guy that had that. Could not eat mammals. Only fish and poultry.

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: mink44] #7574988
05/02/22 11:25 AM
05/02/22 11:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 51,475
Minnesota
330-Trapper Offline
trapper
330-Trapper  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 51,475
Minnesota
Originally Posted by mink44
Worked with a guy that had that. Could not eat mammals. Only fish and poultry.

Bad deal


NRA and NTA Life Member
www.BackroadsRevised@etsy.com




Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7574991
05/02/22 11:33 AM
05/02/22 11:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,166
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Paul Dobbins Offline
"Trapperman custodian"
Paul Dobbins  Offline
"Trapperman custodian"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,166
Goldsboro, North Carolina
I've had at least a hundred of those ticks imbedded over the years. We have a lot of them down here. I'm glad it hasn't affected me, because I love some red meat.



Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7574999
05/02/22 11:45 AM
05/02/22 11:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 37,169
james bay frontierOnt.
B
Boco Offline
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Boco  Offline
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Posts: 37,169
james bay frontierOnt.
Good thing they invented "beyond meat".
If you get it from lone star ticks,i wonder if you can get it from lone star beer?

Last edited by Boco; 05/02/22 11:47 AM.

Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575004
05/02/22 11:53 AM
05/02/22 11:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 13,225
Green County Wisconsin
G
GREENCOUNTYPETE Offline
trapper
GREENCOUNTYPETE  Offline
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G

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 13,225
Green County Wisconsin
permethrin all your outer cloths , it helps and is easy to do


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575011
05/02/22 12:06 PM
05/02/22 12:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,669
new york
M
mike mason Offline
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mike mason  Offline
trapper
M

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,669
new york
A vegan's dream!

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Boco] #7575017
05/02/22 12:20 PM
05/02/22 12:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 13,225
Green County Wisconsin
G
GREENCOUNTYPETE Offline
trapper
GREENCOUNTYPETE  Offline
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G

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 13,225
Green County Wisconsin
Originally Posted by Boco
Good thing they invented "beyond meat".
If you get it from lone star ticks,i wonder if you can get it from lone star beer?

nah hard to drink enough lone star that you pass out in the woods and wake up covered in ticks. start chasing shots with it an all bets are off.


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575028
05/02/22 12:29 PM
05/02/22 12:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23,604
Eastern Shore of Maryland
HobbieTrapper Offline
"Chippendale Trapper"
HobbieTrapper  Offline
"Chippendale Trapper"

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Posts: 23,604
Eastern Shore of Maryland
I have a friend that got infected. Took 4 years to get back to red meat but he made it.


-Goofy-
Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575053
05/02/22 01:20 PM
05/02/22 01:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 7,680
Texas - Michigan
Mark June Offline
trapper
Mark June  Offline
trapper

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 7,680
Texas - Michigan
I never really look at all these ticks biting me. I just pinch 'em, pop 'em, and ditch 'em.
It's about like those "Have you been exposed to Roundup?" commercials.

Exposed?
I bath in it.

Blessings,
Mark


Dallas Theological Seminary
https://www.dts.edu
https://www.markjuneslures.com/
Predator Trapping Academy Host



Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575072
05/02/22 01:47 PM
05/02/22 01:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,738
SE Kansas
K
K52 Offline
trapper
K52  Offline
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K

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,738
SE Kansas
One of the largest ranchers in our county can't eat red meat because of a tick. That just isn't right.

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575073
05/02/22 01:49 PM
05/02/22 01:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,459
Southern NJ
maintenanceguy Offline
trapper
maintenanceguy  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,459
Southern NJ
I know a woman who has beef allergy from a tick bite - not sure if it's exactly the same disease mentioned above. She almost didn't survive the first time she had a reaction and spent a few days in the hospital. She can eat buffalo so she orders that online.


-Ryan
Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575107
05/02/22 03:03 PM
05/02/22 03:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,202
central Missouri
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Bigfoot Offline
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Bigfoot  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,202
central Missouri
My 7 yo nephew has this at least it's just a rash for him .

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575109
05/02/22 03:10 PM
05/02/22 03:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 7,229
Alaska and Washington State
W
waggler Offline
trapper
waggler  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 7,229
Alaska and Washington State
So tell me again, what's so great about Texas?


"I'm not skilled to understand"
Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: maintenanceguy] #7575119
05/02/22 03:32 PM
05/02/22 03:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Flint Hills, KS
J
jht Offline
trapper
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Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Flint Hills, KS
My wife has it. It bums her out regularly. It's an interesting and strange condition. I'm like Mr. June: treat ticks like boogers. Pick 'em and flick 'em. I get ticks just about every day all summer long and have for as long as I can remember. I've had days where I've got more ticks on me at once than my wife has had in her entire life, but she's got the disease and I don't.

Originally Posted by maintenanceguy
I know a woman who has beef allergy from a tick bite - not sure if it's exactly the same disease mentioned above. She almost didn't survive the first time she had a reaction and spent a few days in the hospital. She can eat buffalo so she orders that online.


If she can eat buffalo, then it's not the same thing and probably isn't even due to a tick bite. That being said, with this particular condition, reactions usually require some other co-factor meaning you could eat a hamburger every day but only react at some seemingly random time once or twice a year. So if this woman actually does have the alpha-gal allergy, then she's playing Russian roulette with the buffalo meat.

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575169
05/02/22 05:01 PM
05/02/22 05:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,170
ny
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gcs Offline
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ny
Not all lone star ticks transmit that condition, just like not all deer ticks transmit lymes' but some do obviously. ..

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575179
05/02/22 05:13 PM
05/02/22 05:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,140
Idaho
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bearcat2 Offline
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Idaho
I guided a guy last year that had that. We had mostly chicken meals that week due to his allergy. A couple days the cook made red meat dinners and he ate leftovers, but I ate as much chicken in a week as I usually do in a year.

Re: A Tick that makes you allergic to Red Meat ?? [Re: Canvasback2] #7575478
05/02/22 10:26 PM
05/02/22 10:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,194
Virginia
5
52Carl Offline
trapper
52Carl  Offline
trapper
5

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,194
Virginia
I wonder if all humans bitten by infected Lonestar ticks are affected by it. Seems pretty rare in general.

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