Ticks collected from humans, domestic animals, and wildlife in Yucatan, Mexico

R I Rodríguez-Vivas, D A Apanaskevich, M M Ojeda-Chi, I Trinidad-Martínez, E Reyes-Novelo, M D Esteve-Gassent, A A Pérez de León
Veterinary Parasitology 2016 January 15, 215: 106-13
Domestic animals and wildlife play important roles as reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens that are transmitted to humans by ticks. Besides their role as vectors of several classes of microorganisms of veterinary and public health relevance, ticks also burden human and animal populations through their obligate blood-feeding habit. It is estimated that in Mexico there are around 100 tick species belonging to the Ixodidae and Argasidae families. Information is lacking on tick species that affect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife through their life cycle. This study was conducted to bridge that knowledge gap by inventorying tick species that infest humans, domestic animals and wildlife in the State of Yucatan, Mexico. Amblyomma ticks were observed as euryxenous vertebrate parasites because they were found parasitizing 17 animal species and human. Amblyomma mixtum was the most eryxenous species found in 11 different animal species and humans. Both A. mixtum and A. parvum were found parasitizing humans. Ixodes near affinis was the second most abundant species parasitizing six animal species (dogs, cats, horses, white-nosed coati, white-tail deer and black vulture) and was found widely across the State of Yucatan. Ixodid tick populations may increase in the State of Yucatan with time due to animal production intensification, an increasing wildlife population near rural communities because of natural habitat reduction and fragmentation. The diversity of ticks across host taxa documented here highlights the relevance of ecological information to understand tick-host dynamics. This knowledge is critical to inform public health and veterinary programs for the sustainable control of ticks and tick-borne diseases.

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