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Research Team Including Sonenshine Produces TickID App

  • Daniel Sonenshine

Spending time this summer in the great outdoors? You may want to take along your iPhone.

A team of researchers including Daniel Sonenshine, the Old Dominion University professor emeritus and Eminent Scholar of biological sciences, has developed an iPhone app useful to people who find ticks on themselves or their pets.

TickID is free, and it's being made available just as the tick season is heating up across the country. The application offers help to users in identifying what species of tick they're dealing with, and also advice about the proper removal of ticks and the symptoms to look for in case a bite is a particularly bad one.

Sonenshine, an internationally known authority on ticks and tick-borne diseases, worked with researchers at North Carolina State University in developing the app. They included entomologist Mike Roe and bioinformatics expert Stan Martin, as well as students Anirudh Dhammi, William Blankenship and Joshua Cundiff.

In addition to having photos and descriptions of the male and female deer ticks, dog ticks and Lone Star ticks, the app explains which diseases - such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis or Rocky Mountain spotted fever - are transmitted by which species.

TickID for iPhones and iPads can be downloaded at the app store by searching "TickID."

Sonenshine, a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, joined the ODU faculty in 1961. Since his retirement in 2002 he has remained active in research. In 2008 he received the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Hoogstraal Medal for outstanding lifelong service internationally in medical entomology.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of Sonenshine's career is his authorship of the two-volume text, "The Biology of Ticks." The first volume was published in 1991 and the second in 1993 by Oxford University Press. With a total of 914 pages, the work covers all aspects of the biology, morphology, systematics, physiology, biochemistry, ecology, disease relationships and control of ticks. The monumental work helped him win Virginia's Outstanding Scientist Award in 1994.

Sonenshine currently is working with Roe on an updated edition of "The Biology of Ticks." The book is scheduled to be submitted to Oxford University Press this summer and to be published in late 2012 or early 2013.

This article was posted on: June 28, 2012

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