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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2012 Apr;3(2):95-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2011.12.002. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Importation of Hyalomma marginatum, vector of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, into the United Kingdom by migratory birds.

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  • 1Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology, Microbial Risk Assessment, Emergency Response Dept., Health Protection Services, Health Protection Agency, Porton Down, Wiltshire SP4 0JG, UK. Lisa.Jameson@hpa.org.uk

Abstract

Hyalomma marginatum ticks are an important vector of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus which can result in a severe and potentially fatal disease in humans. Given the continued emergence of clinical cases in Eurasia and focalised upsurges of H. marginatum populations in Europe, it seemed prudent to assess the potential of this vector species to be introduced into the United Kingdom. Immature forms of H. marginatum are frequent ectoparasites of passerine birds many of which migrate from Africa to the UK each spring. Incoming birds were inspected for ticks during the spring migration in 2010 and 2011. A total of 68 ticks was collected from 971 birds (29 bird species), 21% (14) of the ticks were identified as H. marginatum. Oenanthe oenanthe (Northern wheatear) and Sylvia communis (Whitethroat) were found to be infested by this tick in both years and with multiple ticks. Single specimens were also removed from Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (Sedge warbler) and Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Common redstart) in 2010. This study provides the first contemporary evidence for substantial importation of this tick species into the UK.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22300969
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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