Species diversity of ıxodid ticks feeding on humans in Amasya, Turkey: Seasonal abundance and presence of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus
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Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are important pests transmitting tick-borne diseases such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) to humans. Between 2002 and 2009, numerous CCHF cases were reported in Turkey, including Amasya province. In the current study, species diversity, seasonal abundance of ticks, and presence of CCHF virus (CCHFV) in ticks infesting humans in several districts of Amasya province were determined. In the survey, a total of 2,528 ixodid ticks were collected from humans with tick bite from April to November 2008 and identified to species. Hyalomma marginatum (18.6%), Rhipicephalus bursa (10.3%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (5.7%), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus (2.2%), Dermacentor marginatus (2.5%), Haemaphysalis parva (3.6%), and Ixodes ricinus (1.6%) were the most prevalent species among 26 ixodid tick species infesting humans in Amasya province. Hyalomma franchinii Tonelli & Rondelli, 1932, was a new record for the tick fauna of Turkey. The most abundant species were the members of Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus through summer and declined in fall, whereas relative abundances of Ixodes and Dermacentor ticks were always low on humans in the province. Of 25 Hyalomma tick pools tested, seven pools were CCHFV positive by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Results indicated diversity of ixodid tick species infesting humans was very high, abundance of ticks changed by season, and ticks infesting humans had potential for transmitting CCHFV.