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Neiker-Tecnalia confirms need to undertake epidemiological monitoring programs for ticks
Date:9/30/2010

by researchers at the Veterinary Faculty in Madrid from samplings performed in Central Spain (Madrid-Toledo) at the same time and using the same methodology. In total 12 different species of ixodid ticks were identified, with a predominance in the North of those species adapted to live in wet environments (I. ricinus and Haemaphysalis punctata); while in the Centre species that usually occupy drier habitats predominated (Hyalomma lusitanicum and Dermacentor marginatus).

The data from the Basque Country was compared to that obtained a decade previously in the same zone, with an observed increase in tick abundance over time a fact associated with higher winter temperatures registered during this latter period. An established population of Haemaphysalis concinna was detected for the first time, a species which did not appear to be present in the Basque Country previously.

Micromammals as reservoirs of bacteria

Finally, to assess the possible role of micromammals as reservoirs for these tick-borne bacteria, 253 domestic and wild micromammals were investigated by Neiker-Tecnalia researchers. The results showed for the first time that the shrew species Crocidura russula and Sorex coronatus can act as possible reservoirs of A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi, respectively. The presence of C. burnetii DNA was also detected in domestic and wild mice. These results point out the important role of micromammals in our region as reservoirs of tick-borne bacterial pathogens.


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