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Exp Appl Acarol. 2006;40(2):83-100. Epub 2006 Nov 14.

Ticks (Ixodidae) on humans in South America.

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Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Rafaela, CC 22, CP 2300, Rafaela, Santa Fe, Argentina.


Twenty eight species of Ixodidae have been found on man in South America (21 Amblyomma, 1 Boophilus, 2 Dermacentor, 2 Haemaphysalis, 1 Ixodes and 1 Rhipicephalus species). Most of them are rarely found on man. However, three species frequently parasitize humans in restricted areas of Argentina (A. neumanni reported from 46 localities), Uruguay (A. triste from 21 sites) and Argentina-Brazil (A. parvum from 27 localities). The most widespread ticks are A. cajennense (134 localities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela), A. ovale (37 localities in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela) and A. oblongoguttatum (28 sites in Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela). Amblyomma aureolatum (18 localities in Argentina, Brazil, French Guiana and Paraguay), A. cajennense, and A. triste are vectors of rickettsioses to man in South America. A better understanding of the respective roles of these and other tick species in transmitting pathogens to humans will require further local investigations. Amblyomma ticks should be the main subjects of these studies followed by species of Boophilus, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis and Rhipicephalus species. In contrast with North America, Europe and Asia, ticks of the genus Ixodes do not appear to be major players in transmitting diseases to human. Indeed, there is only one record of an Ixodes collected while feeding on man for all South America.

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