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, 28 (2), 235-62

Ticks (Ixodidae) on Birds Migrating From Europe and Asia to Africa 1959-61

Ticks (Ixodidae) on Birds Migrating From Europe and Asia to Africa 1959-61

H HOOGSTRAAL et al. Bull World Health Organ.


The need for imaginative thinking and research in the epidemiology of diseases transmitted by arthropods is made manifest by new views of the longevity and host ranges of arthropod-borne viruses, as well as by other biological and medical phenomena. Among these is the intercontinental transport of ticks by migrating birds. During the fall migration periods of 1959, 1960 and 1961, 32 086 birds (comprising 72 forms) were examined for ticks in Egypt while en route from Asia and eastern Europe to tropical Africa. Of these, 40 forms, represented by 31 434 birds, were tick-infested. The bird hosts, numbering 1040 (3.31% of the tick-infested bird forms examined), bore 1761 ticks, or 1.69 ticks per host. Common ticks taken were Hyalomma m. marginatum, Haemaphysalis punctata, and Ixodes ricinus. Ixodes frontalis and Hyalomma aegyptium were less common and Haemaphysalis sulcata, H. otophila, and H. pavlovskyi were rare. The common tick species are known to be reservoirs and vectors of pathogens causing a number of human and animal diseases in Europe and Asia. Several of the bird hosts have also been incriminated as reservoirs in their summer ranges. Over 20 strains of pathogenic viruses were isolated from these birds and their ticks in Egypt in the 1961 fall migration period.THE MOST DIFFICULT PROBLEMS IN INVESTIGATIONS SUCH AS THIS IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD ARE TAXONOMIC ONES: the correct identification of bird hosts, of immature stages of ticks and of viruses.

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