Texas is known as the state of the solitary star. Therefore, it is not surprising that this original tick from there the Americans have been baptized as “tick lone star”, although its scientific name is Amblyomma americanum. But what distinguishes her from others of her kind? For the fact that his sting can cause a person to feel a sudden aversion to eating meat.
It was in 2009 when a study by researchers Scott Coomins and Thomas Platts-Mills revealed this curious effect. But why? For the presence of a type of sugar called alpha-gal that humans do not have in our body.
Alpha-gal is also present in red meat, and we generally tolerate it very well. The problem is that when that tick ticks, the sugar goes directly into the blood and causes the immune system to respond, and it creates antibodies to fight it. The problem is that the next time the person eats meat, an allergic reaction is caused by the antibodies.
Symptoms can appear up to eight hours after eating red meat, and the person may notice that their hands and tongue swell, and they find it difficult to breathe.
As we have said, the tick is originally from Texas but has now abandoned that territory and its presence is becoming habitual in many other places.
It must be said, moreover, that this curious syndrome has also been occasionally detected with the bites of some other variety of tick, especially Ixodes holocyclus, which is native to Australia.