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Enhanced threat of tick-borne infections within cities? Assessing public health risks due to ticks in urban green spaces in Helsinki, Finland

Sormunen, Jani Jukka and Kulha, Niko and Klemola, Tero and Makela, Satu and Vesilahti, Ella-Maria and Vesterinen, Eero (2020). Enhanced threat of tick-borne infections within cities? Assessing public health risks due to ticks in urban green spaces in Helsinki, Finland. Zoonoses and Public Health. 67 , 823-839
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Most tick-related studies in Europe have been conducted in nonurban areas, but ticks and tick-borne pathogens also occur in urban green spaces. From a public health perspective, risks regarding tick-borne infections should be studied in these urban areas, where contacts between infected ticks and humans may be more frequent than elsewhere, due to high human activity. We examined the risk of encountering an infected tick in urban green spaces in Helsinki, Finland. We collected ticks at nine sites throughout Helsinki, recorded the prevalence of several pathogens and identified areas with a high potential for contacts between infected ticks and humans. Moreover, we explored the relationship between the density ofBorrelia burgdorferisensu lato-infected ticks and locally diagnosed cases of borreliosis and compared the potential for human-tick encounters in Helsinki to those in nonurban areas in south-western Finland. During 34.8 km of cloth dragging, 2,417Ixodes ricinuswere caught (402 adults, 1,399 nymphs and 616 larvae). From analysed nymphs, we found 11 distinct tick-borne pathogens, with 31.5% of nymphs carrying at least one pathogen. Tick activity was highest in August and September, leading to the density of nymphs infected withB. burgdorferis.l., and concurrently infection risk, to also be highest during this time. Nymph densities varied between the sampling sites, with obvious implications to spatial variation in infection risk. While ticks and tick-borne pathogens were found in both Helsinki and nonurban areas in south-western Finland, the estimates of human activity were generally higher in urban green spaces, leading to a higher potential for human-tick contacts therein. The presence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens and high local human activity in urban green spaces suggest that they form potential foci regarding the acquisition of tick-borne infections. Risk areas within cities should be identified and knowledge regarding urban ticks increased.

Authors/Creators:Sormunen, Jani Jukka and Kulha, Niko and Klemola, Tero and Makela, Satu and Vesilahti, Ella-Maria and Vesterinen, Eero
Title:Enhanced threat of tick-borne infections within cities? Assessing public health risks due to ticks in urban green spaces in Helsinki, Finland
Series Name/Journal:Zoonoses and Public Health
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:67
Page range:823-839
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1863-1959
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 3 Medical and Health Sciences > 303 Health Sciences > Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Keywords:infections, lyme disease, parks, recreational, public health, tick bites, ticks
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108135
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108135
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/zph.12767
Web of Science (WoS)000572125900001
ID Code:18736
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 09:43
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:46

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