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Ticks (Ixodoidea) on migrating birds in Cyprus, fall 1967 and spring 1968, and epidemiological considerations*

  • Makram N. Kaiser (a1), Harry Hoogstraal (a1) and George E. Watson (a2)

Abstract

More or less cursory examination of migrating birds in Cyprus revealed 115 of 2580 southward (fall) migrants and 177 of 22015 northward (spring) migrants to be infested by 167 and 797 ticks, respectively. Most ticks on fall migrants were Hyalomma marginatum marginatum Koch; others were Ixodes frontalis (Panz.), I. ricinus (L.), Haemaphysalis concinna Koch, and H. punctata C. & F., all representative of the Eurasian fauna. Most ticks on spring migrants were H. m. rufipes Koch; others were Amblyomma lepidum Dön., A. nuttalli Dön., and A. variegatum (F.), representative of sub-Saharan Africa, and Argas streptopelia Kaiser, Hoogst. & Horner, Ixodes eldaricus Dzhaparidze, and I. redikorzevi Olen. which probably attached to the hosts in the eastern Mediterranean area. In Africa and Eurasia, 16 arboviruses have been recorded from eight of these tick species, and also the agents of boutonneuse fever, Siberian tick typhus, Q fever, and tularaemia. The epidemiological potential of migrating birds is enhanced by the multiplicity of pathogens that may infect them and the biological diversity of ticks that may infest them. The remarkably wide distribution of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus in Africa and Eurasia is likely to be due to intercontinental carriage of the virus and ticks by migrating birds.

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