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1 June 2017 Tick Infestation of Small Mammals in an English Woodland
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Abstract

Tick infestations on small mammals were studied from April to November, 2010, in deciduous woodland in southern England in order to determine whether co-infestations with tick stages occurred on small mammals, a key requirement for endemic transmission of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). A total of 217 small mammals was trapped over 1,760 trap nights. Yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) made up the majority (52.5%) of animals, followed by wood mice (A. sylvaticus) 35.5% and bank voles (Myodes glareolus) 12%. A total of 970 ticks was collected from 169 infested animals; 96% of ticks were Ixodes ricinus and 3% I. trianguliceps. Over 98% of ticks were larval stages. Mean infestation intensities of I. ricinus were significantly higher on A. flavicollis (6.53 ± 0.67) than on A. sylvaticus (4.96 ± 0.92) and M. glareolus (3.25 ± 0.53). Infestations with I. ricinus were significantly higher in August than in any other month. Co-infestations with I. ricinus nymphs and larvae were observed on six (3.6%) infested individuals, and fifteen small mammals (8.9%) supported I. ricinus — I. trianguliceps co-infestations. This work contributes further to our understanding of European small mammal hosts that maintain tick populations and their associated pathogens, and indicates that co-infestation of larvae and nymph ticks does occur in lowland UK. The possible implications for transmission of tick-borne encephalitis virus between UK ticks and small mammals are discussed.

Benjamin Cull, Alexander G.C. Vaux, Lisa J. Ottowell, Emma L. Gillingham, and Jolyon M. Medlock "Tick Infestation of Small Mammals in an English Woodland," Journal of Vector Ecology 42(1), 74-83, (1 June 2017). https://doi.org/10.1111/jvec.12241
Received: 11 October 2016; Accepted: 1 November 2016; Published: 1 June 2017
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