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Vet Parasitol. 2008 Aug 17;155(3-4):328-32. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.05.006. Epub 2008 May 10.

Preliminary evaluation of exotic tick species and exotic pathogens imported on migratory birds into the British Isles.

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Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology Group, Microbial Risk Assessment, Health Protection Agency, Centre for Emergency Preparedness & Response, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG, United Kingdom.


Field studies were carried out to determine whether ticks are being imported into the British Isles on migratory birds. During spring and autumn migration 2004, ticks were collected from ringed birds at 11 bird observatories and 3 inland Riparia riparia colonies. A total of 38 ticks of 4 species (Ixodes ricinus, I. frontalis, I. lividus, I. arboricola) were collected from 12 species of bird. Ticks were tested for viruses in the Flavivirus and Nairovirus genera, with no positives found. This data demonstrates that ticks are being imported into the British Isles on migratory birds with future work recommended to determine the quantity of ticks imported and to detect low prevalence pathogens.

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