Assessing the role of migratory birds in the introduction of ticks and tick-borne pathogens from African countries: an Italian experience

Publication date: Available online 16 August 2019Source: Ticks and Tick-borne DiseasesAuthor(s): Ilaria Pascucci, Marco Di Domenico, Giulia Capobianco Dondona, Annapia Di Gennaro, Andrea Polci, Andrea Capobianco Dondona, Elisa Mancuso, Cesare Cammà, Giovanni Savini, Jacopo G. Cecere, Fernando Spina, Federica MonacoAbstractThe continuous flow of billions of birds between Africa and Europe creates an “ecological bridge” between physically remote areas. Migratory birds fly south from their breeding grounds during late summer/fall and fly back in spring. These movements regulate the spread of internal and external parasites, as well as pathogens of potential public health concern. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible introduction of exotic tick species and tick-borne pathogens into Europe via migratory birds. At the bird observatory of Ventotene island (Italy), 443 feeding ticks were collected from 249 birds captured and ringed during their northbound migration in spring 2013. Each tick was identified by morphological and molecular methods and then tested for bacterial and viral pathogens: Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia ruminantium and Coxiella burnetii, Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) and Flavivirus. Morphological and molecular identification confirmed Hyalomma rufipes as the most abundant species among the collected arthropods (366/443; 82.6%) followed by Hyalomma marginatum (10/433; 2.3%). Rickett...
Source: Ticks and Tick borne Diseases - Category: Zoology Source Type: research

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