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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 732: Effect of Climate and Land Use on the Spatio-Temporal Variability of Tick-Borne Bacteria in Europe

12 Apr 2018

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 732: Effect of Climate and Land Use on the Spatio-Temporal Variability of Tick-Borne Bacteria in Europe

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040732

Authors:
Roberto Rosà
Veronica Andreo
Valentina Tagliapietra
Ivana Baráková
Daniele Arnoldi
Heidi Hauffe
Mattia Manica
Fausta Rosso
Lucia Blaňarová
Martin Bona
Marketa Derdáková
Zuzana Hamšíková
Maria Kazimírová
Jasna Kraljik
Elena Kocianová
Lenka Mahríková
Lenka Minichová
Ladislav Mošanský
Mirko Slovák
Michal Stanko
Eva Špitalská
Els Ducheyne
Markus Neteler
Zdenek Hubálek
Ivo Rudolf
Kristyna Venclikova
Cornelia Silaghi
Evelyn Overzier
Robert Farkas
Gábor Földvári
Sándor Hornok
Nóra Takács
Annapaola Rizzoli

The incidence of tick-borne diseases caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. has been rising in Europe in recent decades. Early pre-assessment of acarological hazard still represents a complex challenge. The aim of this study was to model Ixodes ricinus questing nymph density and its infection rate with B. burgdorferi s.l., A. phagocytophilum and Rickettsia spp. in five European countries (Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) in various land cover types differing in use and anthropisation (agricultural, urban and natural) with climatic and environmental factors (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), Land Surface Temperature (LST) and precipitation). We show that the relative abundance of questing nymphs was significantly associated with climatic conditions, such as higher values of NDVI recorded in the sampling period, while no differences were observed among land use categories. However, the density of infected nymphs (DIN) also depended on the pathogen considered and land use. These results contribute to a better understanding of the variation in acarological hazard for Ixodes ricinus transmitted pathogens in Central Europe and provide the basis for more focused ecological studies aimed at assessing the effect of land use in different sites on tick–host pathogens interaction.

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