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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Ixodid tick species found in northern Sweden - Data from a frontier area

Omazic, Anna; Han, Seungeun; Albihn, Ann; Ullman, Karin; Choklikitumnuey, Phimphanit; Perissinotto, Debora; Grandi, Giulio

Abstract

Environmental and climatic changes in northern Europe have shaped a geographical area in which new tick species may become established and introduce new tick-borne pathogens. In recent decades, ticks have expanded their latitudinal and altitudinal range limits in northern Sweden. In this study, ticks were collected in 2018 and 2019 in northern Sweden from different hosts, mainly from dogs, cats and humans. The ticks in 2018 (n = 2141, collected from 65 municipalities in 11 provinces) were identified as Ixodes ricinus (n = 2108, 98.5%), Ixodes persulcatus (n = 18, 0.8%), Ixodes trianguliceps (n = 14, 0.7%) and Hyalomma marginatum (n = 1, 0.05%). The ticks collected in 2019 (n = 519, across a smaller area than in 2018, i.e. Sweden's four northernmost provinces) were identified as I. ricinus (n = 242, 46.6%) and I. persulcatus (n = 277, 53.4%). Among those collected in 2019, the majority of I. ricinus (n = 111, 45.9%) were submitted from the province of Va & BULL;sterbotten, while most I. persulcatus (n = 259, 93.5%) were collected in the province of Norrbotten. This study provides updated figures on the geographical distribution of two Ixodes species in northern Sweden. The results confirmed I. ricinus to be the dominant species and that I. persulcatus has enlarged its distributional area compared with previous reports. Updated knowledge of tick distribution is fundamental for the creation of risk maps and will allow relevant advice to be provided to the general public, suggesting measures to prevent tick bites and consequently tickborne diseases.

Keywords

Tick; Northern Sweden; Ixodes ricinus; Ixodes persulcatus; Citizen science

Published in

Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
2023, Volume: 14, number: 6, article number: 102244
Publisher: ELSEVIER GMBH

      SLU Authors

      • UKÄ Subject classification

        Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
        Environmental Sciences
        Ecology

        Publication identifier

        DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2023.102244

        Permanent link to this page (URI)

        https://res.slu.se/id/publ/126366