Tick-borne Encephalitis

The importance of wildlife in the ecology and epidemiology of the Tick-borne encephalitis virus in Sweden: incidence of human TBE correlates with abundance of deer and hares, Parasites and Vectors, Aug 2018Based on a review of published data we presume that certain temperature-related variables and the population densities of transmission hosts, i.e. small mammals, and of primary tick maintenance hosts, i.e. cervids and lagomorphs, of the TBE virus vector Ixodes ricinus, are among the potentially most important factors affecting the TBE incidence. Therefore, we compare hunting data of the major tick maintenance hosts and two of their important predators, and four climatic variables with the annual numbers of human cases of neuroinvasive TBE.

Effect of deer density on tick infestation of rodents and the hazard of tick-borne encephalitis. II: Population and infection models, International Journal for Parasitology, April 2012 [abstract]Understanding and quantifying the contribution of the different hosts involved in the TBE virus cycle is crucial in estimating the threshold conditions for virus emergence and spread. Some hosts, such as rodents, act both as feeding hosts for ticks and reservoirs of the infection. Other species, such as deer, provide important sources of blood for feeding ticks but they do not support TBE virus transmission, acting instead as dead-end (i.e., incompetent) hosts.

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