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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Monitoring of ticks and tick-borne pathogens through a nationwide research station network in Finland

Sormunen, Jani J.; Andersson, Tommi; Aspi, Jouni; Back, Jaana; Cederberg, Tony; Haavisto, Noora; Halonen, Hanna; Hanninen, Jari; Inkinen, Jasmin; Kulha, Niko; Laaksonen, Maija; Loehr, John; Makela, Satu; Makinen, Katja; Norkko, Joanna; Paavola, Riku; Pajala, Pauliina; Petaja, Tuukka; Puisto, Anna; Sippola, Ella;
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Abstract

In 2015 a long-term, nationwide tick and tick-borne pathogen (TBP) monitoring project was started by the Finnish Tick Project and the Finnish Research Station network (RESTAT), with the goal of producing temporally and geographically extensive data regarding exophilic ticks in Finland. In the current study, we present results from the first four years of this collaboration.Ticks were collected by cloth dragging from 11 research stations across Finland in May September 2015-2018 (2012-2018 in Seili). Collected ticks were screened for twelve different pathogens by qPCR: Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia miyamotoi, Babesia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Francisella tularensis, Bartonella spp. and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV).Altogether 15 067 Ixodes ricinus and 46 Ixodes persulcatus were collected during 68 km of dragging. Field collections revealed different seasonal activity patterns for the two species. The activity of I. persulcatus adults (only one nymph detected) was unimodal, with activity only in May July, whereas Ixodes ricinus was active from May to September, with activity peaks in September (nymphs) or July August (adults). Overall, tick densities were higher during the latter years of the study. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato were the most common pathogens detected, with 48.9 +/- 8.4% (95% Cl) of adults and 25.3 +/- 4.4% of nymphs carrying the bacteria. No samples positive for F. tularensis, Bartonella or TBEV were detected.This collaboration project involving the extensive Finnish Research Station network has ensured enduring and spatially extensive, long-term tick data collection to the foreseeable future.

Keywords

Ticks; Tick-borne pathogens; Monitoring; Longitudinal study; Nationwide

Published in

Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

2020, volume: 11, number: 5, article number: 101449
Publisher: ELSEVIER GMBH

Authors' information

Sormunen, Jani J.
Univ Turku
Andersson, Tommi
Univ Turku
Aspi, Jouni
Univ Oulu
Back, Jaana
Univ Helsinki
Cederberg, Tony
Abo Akad Univ
Haavisto, Noora
Univ Helsinki
Halonen, Hanna
Univ Helsinki
Hanninen, Jari
Univ Turku
Inkinen, Jasmin
Univ Turku
Kulha, Niko
Univ Helsinki
Laaksonen, Maija
Univ Turku
Loehr, John
Univ Helsinki
Makela, Satu
Univ Turku
Makinen, Katja
Univ Turku
Norkko, Joanna
Univ Helsinki
Paavola, Riku
Univ Oulu
Pajala, Pauliina
Univ Turku
Petaja, Tuukka
Univ Helsinki
Puisto, Anna
Univ Turku
Sippola, Ella
Univ Turku
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UKÄ Subject classification

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Microbiology
Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101449

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/107163