Tick survey for prevalent pathogens in peri-urban recreation sites in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany)

  • Mehlhorn H
  • Mehlhorn T
  • Müller M
 et al. 
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Ixodid ticks are important vectors of human pathogens in Central Europe. Despite this fact, prevalence studies are scarce, especially with regard to much-frequented peri-urban recreation sites. In this pilot study, 4.014 larvae, nymphs and adult ticks sampled monthly during the active seasons in 2011 and 2012 from 14 distinct collection sites in two German states (Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate) were screened for Borrelia spp., Anaplasma spp. and tick-borne encephalitis virus. Mean prevalence rates were 19.8 % for Borrelia spp., 1.9 % for Anaplasma spp. and 0.1 % for tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), which are in accordance with those reported from other regions in Germany and neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, the detection of TBEV-infected ticks is the first positive result after several unsuccessful efforts over the previous years in official "TBE-risk" zones of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate which supports the presumption of the origin of observed local infection. Besides ixodid ticks a non-engorged adult female tick of the invading species Dermacentor reticulatus has been found reflecting the appearance of another vector eventually jeopardising the health of host animals as well as humans.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anaplasma spp
  • Borrelia spp
  • Dermacentor reticulatus
  • Ixodes ricinus
  • Meningoencephalitis
  • Tick-borne encephalitis virus

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  • Heinz Mehlhorn

  • Tim Mehlhorn

  • Melanie Müller

  • Manfred Vogt

  • Jürgen Rissland

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