Threats to international travellers posed by tick-borne diseases

Travel Med Infect Dis. 2006 Jan;4(1):4-13. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2004.11.003. Epub 2004 Dec 20.


To date, 14 tick-borne diseases have been reported in international travellers, the majority of cases being Lyme borreliosis caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in North America and Eurasia, African tick bite fever caused by Rickettsia africae in sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Caribbean, and Central European encephalitis caused by tick-borne encephalitis virus in Europe. The clinical presentation is frequently non-specific, and tick-borne diseases should always, in the absence of other likely diagnoses, be suspected in travellers with flu-like symptoms following a recent visit to tick-infested areas. Feasible microbiological diagnostic tests are widely unavailable, at least outside areas of endemicity where many infected travellers present. Empiric treatment with doxycycline should be considered in suspected cases of tick-borne bacterial diseases. Since ecotourism and adventure travel are increasingly popular worldwide, the incidence of travel-associated tick-borne diseases is likely to increase in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Doxycycline / administration & dosage
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Tick-Borne Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Tick-Borne Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Tick-Borne Diseases* / etiology
  • Ticks / parasitology
  • Ticks / virology
  • Travel*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Doxycycline