Geographic and Temporal Variations in Population Dynamics of Ixodes ricinus and Associated Borrelia Infections in The Netherlands

F. Gassner, A.J.H. van Vliet, S.L.G.E. Burgers, F.H.H. Jacobs, P.G.H. Verbaarschot, E. Hovius, S. Mulder, N.O. Verhulst, L.S. van Overbeek, W. Takken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a countrywide investigation of the ecological factors that contribute to Lyme borreliosis risk, a longitudinal study on population dynamics of the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus and their infections with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) was undertaken at 24 sites in The Netherlands from July 2006 to December 2007. Study sites were mature forests, dune vegetations, or new forests on land reclaimed from the sea. Ticks were sampled monthly and nymphal ticks were investigated for the presence of Borrelia spp. I. ricinus was the only tick species found. Ticks were found in all sites, but with significant spatial and temporal variations in density between sites. Peak densities were found in July and August, with lowest tick numbers collected in December and January. In some sites, questing activities of I. ricinus nymphs and adults were observed in the winter months. Mean monthly Borrelia infections in nymphs varied from 0% to 29.0% (range: 0%–60%), and several sites had significantly higher mean nymphal Borrelia infections than others. Four genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were found, with B. afzelii being dominant at most sites. Borrelia infection rates in nymphal ticks collected in July, September, and November 2006 were significantly higher (23.7%, p¿
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-532
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • burgdorferi sensu-lato
  • south-central sweden
  • lyme borreliosis
  • central-europe
  • ticks acari
  • ixodidae
  • identification
  • ehrlichia
  • nymphs
  • anaplasma

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