Ticks biting humans in the urban area of Istanbul
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A passive surveillance for tick bites in humans was undertaken in the city of Istanbul (Turkey) in the summer and autumn of 2006. From 1,054 reported tick bites, most were females of Ixodes ricinus (27%) and nymphs of Hyalomma aegyptium (50%). A few adults of Hyalomma m. marginatum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Dermacentor marginatus were also recorded. We investigated potential risk factors for I. ricinus and H. aegyptium with spatial statistics. Climate features at 1-km resolution (monthly minimum temperatures in late summer and autumn and rainfall) and vegetation features at high resolution (density and heterogeneity of forest-type vegetation as well as distance of reporting site to these vegetation features) are useful variables explaining high reporting clusters for both Ixodes and Hyalomma. While Ixodes is highly reported in dense highly heterogeneous vegetation patches, Hyalomma is commonly found in areas far from forest-type features and in the small, relatively dry vegetation patches within the urban fabric.
KeywordsPasserine Bird Vegetation Patch Passive Surveillance Urban Fabric Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty
The authors want to thank Dr. Mehmet Bakar and the Ministry of Health (Istanbul branch, Turkey) for the cooperation in the surveillance of ticks for this study. We also want to acknowledge the cooperation of the Emergency, Infectious Diseases and Dermatology units of Haseki Education and Research Hospital and Okmeydani Education and Research Hospital. The writing of this article has been facilitated through The Integrated Consortium on Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases financed by the International Cooperation Programme of the European Union through Coordination Action Project no. 510561.
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