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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Babesia species in questing Ixodes ricinus, Sweden

Karlsson, Maria E.; Andersson, Martin O.


Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis in large parts of the world. In Sweden, the occurrence and diversity of Babesia species is largely unknown. In order to estimate the exposure to Babesia from infected ticks, we collected questing Ixodes ricinus from several sites across southern Sweden during two consecutive field seasons and investigated the occurrence of Babesia species. We report for the first time the occurrence of the zoonotic species Babesia venatorum in Swedish ticks, with a prevalence of 1%. We also detected B. microti (prevalence 3.2%) and B. divergens (prevalence 0.2%). The incidence of Babesia in questing ticks is substantially lower than that of several other tick-borne diseases in Sweden. Nevertheless, babesiosis should not be neglected as a possible diagnosis following tick bites in humans and animals in Sweden. (C) 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Babesia spp.; B. microti; B. divergens; B. venatorum; Tick-borne disease; Zoonotic disease

Published in

Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
2016, Volume: 7, number: 1, pages: 10-12

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