Can you even tell what kind of tick is in the picture? It is a deer tick (larvae) and it is already infectious. Yes, it has been recently discovered that ticks become infected by their mother. Also, be aware that you don’t need a bull’s eye rash to confirm Lyme disease. And it doesn’t need to be a deer tick either.
There are only four out of twenty species studied from Shelter Island that can leave the skin and infect the rest of the body. That means a more reliable way to diagnose Lyme disease is either clinically (by symptoms – see http://lymediseaseresource.com/Symptom_List.html), flu in the spring, summer or fall, or joint pain that moves around, or by submitting the tick to Igenex see form and instructions at: http://www.igenex.com/files/ticktest.pdf
That also means that a huge percentage of people who apparently were cured by a short dose of antibiotics may not have ever been infected with the four most invasive strains which would negate all of the studies done using a bulls-eye rash as one of the determining factors for infection.
Also, there are 14 ticks that carry Lyme disease. Nine types of hard-shelled ticks that cause Lyme disease (different ticks in different areas of the country.) There are also five types of soft-shelled ticks that cause Lyme disease. Some carry all co-infections, and some are known to carry just a few. However the number of ticks that carry Lyme disease continues to grow while the number of co-infections and the density of the tick population carrying Lyme disease and co-infections is also growing.
(Author’s note: Peer-reviewed studies sometimes take years to be published so the preceding statements are based on studies that were done over the last three decades showing a growth pattern that must not be ignored or down-played.)