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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 478: Range Expansion of Tick Disease Vectors in North America: Implications for Spread of Tick-Borne Disease

09 Mar 2018

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 478: Range Expansion of Tick Disease Vectors in North America: Implications for Spread of Tick-Borne Disease

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15030478

Authors:
Daniel Sonenshine

Ticks are the major vectors of most disease-causing agents to humans, companion animals and wildlife. Moreover, ticks transmit a greater variety of pathogenic agents than any other blood-feeding arthropod. Ticks have been expanding their geographic ranges in recent decades largely due to climate change. Furthermore, tick populations in many areas of their past and even newly established localities have increased in abundance. These dynamic changes present new and increasing severe public health threats to humans, livestock and companion animals in areas where they were previously unknown or were considered to be of minor importance. Here in this review, the geographic status of four representative tick species are discussed in relation to these public health concerns, namely, the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, the Gulf Coast Tick, Amblyomma maculatum and the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Both biotic and abiotic factors that may influence future range expansion and successful colony formation in new habitats are discussed.

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