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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans [#permalink]
18 Jan 2005, 05:19
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Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted to humans by deer ticks. Generally deer ticks pick up the bacterium while in the larval stage from feeding on infected whitefooted mice. However, certain other species on which the larvae feed do not harbor the bacterium.
Therefore, if the population of these other species were increased, the number of ticks acquiring the bacterium? and hence the number of people contracting Lyme diseaseâ€”would likely decline.
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?
A. Ticks do not suffer any adverse consequences from carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in humans.
B. There are no known cases of a humanâ€™s contracting Lyme disease through contact with white-footed mice.
C. A deer tick feeds only once while in the larval stage.
D. A single host animal can be the source of bacteria for many tick larvae.
E. None of the other species on which deer tick larvae feed harbor other bacteria that ticks transmit to humans.
The argument is the number of humans contracting the Lyme disease would decline if the population of the other species is increased. These others species, as per the author, do not harbor any bacterium. Assumption here is humans contract this disease when they come in contact with whitefooted mouse. Answer B is ruled out as this weakens the argument. Answer D kinda weakens the argument, because the author says, one single host animal, could be the source of many bacteria. This would weaken the argument if the single hosted animal was a white footed mouse. A and C are out of scope.
E is the closest answer. Answer E can still be debated, because by increasing other species does not gurantee that whitefooted mouse count decreases.
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