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      Ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting humans in Tokat Province of Turkey: species diversity and seasonal activity.

      Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology

      Animals, Geography, Humans, Ixodidae, classification, growth & development, Seasons, Turkey

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          Ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are the major vectors of pathogens threatening animal and human health. Tokat Province, Turkey, is a suitable habitat for extended tick activity with its moderate climate and vegetation. In the present study, we surveyed humans visiting health centers to determine the species diversity, geographical distribution, and seasonal activity of ixodid ticks infesting them. Out of 5,999 adult ticks collected from humans from April to September, 2008, 800 ticks were identified to species, while the remaining were identified to genus according to their distinct morphological characteristics. Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma detritum, Rhipicephalus bursa, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, Dermacentor marginatus, and Ixodes laguri were the most prevalent tick species among 24 ixodid tick species infesting humans in the region. One of these tick species, Hyalomma isacii was identified as a new record for the ixodid tick fauna of Turkey. Hyalomma species were the most abundant in summer, while Dermacentor and Ixodes species displayed the lowest frequency. Hyalomma aegyptium infestation was very common on humans in the province. Results indicated that a variety of ixodid tick species infest humans depending on the season in the target area. It is possible that a variety of ixodid tick species may contribute to the spread of tick-borne diseases such as Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), which is endemic in the region.

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          Animals, Geography, Humans, Ixodidae, classification, growth & development, Seasons, Turkey


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