Spatial distribution of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus in Hungary: evidence for change?

T Sréter, Z Széll, I Varga
Veterinary Parasitology 2005 March 31, 128 (3): 347-51
A survey was conducted to investigate the spatial distribution of Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus in Hungary and to compare these data with the results of a previous large-scale survey. In the survey conducted in the 1950s, D. reticulatus adults were detected in two isolated areas of two counties, and the presence of these ticks in the collection was explained by accidental introduction. In the present survey, D. reticulatus became the second most common species occurring in all 16 counties involved in the monitoring and showed high prevalence. The change in the spatial distribution of this tick species, the increase of incidence of Babesia canis infection in Hungary, and the increasing number of canine babesiosis case reports from other Central and Central Eastern European countries since the 1970s suggest an expansion of the geographic range of D. reticulatus and intensification of the transmission rate of B. canis and probably other D. reticulatus-borne diseases (e.g. tularemia and tick-borne lymphadenopathy) in the region. The spatial distribution of I. ricinus was roughly in line with the results of the earlier survey. I. ricinus was the most common tick species being present in all 16 counties with the highest prevalence. Nevertheless, the comparison of the data of the previous and current survey cannot be used for fine-scale analysis; thus, it cannot be dismissed that the spatial distribution of I. ricinus also changed during the past decades. The spatial distribution patterns of tick-borne encephalitis in Hungary and other Central Eastern European countries may indicate such a change.

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