Rhipicephalus rossicus, a neglected tick at the margin of Europe: a review of its distribution, ecology and medical importance

Med Vet Entomol. 2015 Sep;29(3):215-24. doi: 10.1111/mve.12112. Epub 2015 Mar 12.


Rhipicephalus rossicus (Ixodida: Ixodidae) is a three-host tick with a broad host spectrum that includes wild animals, pets, livestock and humans. Despite its local abundance in certain areas, most of the available information on R. rossicus was published decades ago, mainly by former soviet authors. Its distribution largely overlaps the Eurasian steppe. However, its range may be more extensive than is currently known because this species may have been misidentified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus, principally in areas where the latter species is present. Although R. rossicus has been occasionally reported to feed on people, little attention has been given to its medical importance. It has been shown to have a vectorial role in the transmission of Francisella tularensis, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus and West Nile virus. However, the vectorial importance of R. rossicus may be significantly greater, mainly as the closely related species R. sanguineus s.l. is known to transmit a very wide spectrum of pathogens. The probably underestimated vectorial role of R. rossicus may represent a hidden public health threat.

Keywords: Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever; Rhipicephalus rossicus; seasonal dynamics; tick distribution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Distribution*
  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / classification
  • Arachnid Vectors / microbiology
  • Arachnid Vectors / physiology*
  • Arachnid Vectors / virology
  • Europe
  • Host Specificity*
  • Population Dynamics
  • Rhipicephalus / classification
  • Rhipicephalus / physiology*
  • Seasons
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / microbiology
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / transmission*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / virology