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Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 24;7(1):16316. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15742-6.

Emergence of tick-borne diseases at northern latitudes in Europe: a comparative approach.

Author information

1
Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066 Blindern, NO-0316, Oslo, Norway. atle.mysterud@ibv.uio.no.
2
Department of Food, Water, Zoonotic & Vector-borne Infections, The Norwegian Institute for Public Health, P.O. Box 4404 Nydalen, NO-0403, Oslo, Norway.
3
Department of the Norwegian Cattle Health Services, TINE Norwegian Dairies BA, Oslo, NO-1431 Ås, Norway.
4
Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066 Blindern, NO-0316, Oslo, Norway.
5
Norwegian Veterinary Institute, P.O. Box 750 Sentrum, NO-0106, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

The factors that drive the emergence of vector-borne diseases are difficult to identify due to the complexity of the pathogen-vector-host triad. We used a novel comparative approach to analyse four long-term datasets (1995-2015) on the incidence of tick-borne diseases in humans and livestock (Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis) over a geographic area that covered the whole of Norway. This approach allowed us to separate general (shared vector) and specific (pathogen reservoir host) limiting factors of tick-borne diseases, as well as the role of exposure (shared and non-shared pathogens in different hosts). We found broadly similar patterns of emergence across the four tick-borne diseases. Following initial increases during the first decade of the time series, the numbers of cases peaked at slightly different years and then stabilized or declined in the most recent years. Contrasting spatial patterns of disease incidence were consistent with exposure to ticks being an important factor influencing disease incidence in livestock. Uncertainty regarding the reservoir host(s) of the pathogens causing anaplasmosis and babesiosis prevented a firm conclusion regarding the role of the reservoir host-pathogen distribution. Our study shows that the emergence of tick-borne diseases at northern latitudes is linked to the shared tick vector and that variation in host-pathogen distribution and exposure causes considerable variation in emergence.

PMID:
29176601
PMCID:
PMC5701145
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-15742-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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